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Transport society weighs up planning models

FORECASTING TRAVEL demand in the light of the Government's ten year transport plan was discussed at the Transport Planning Society's meeting at the ICE this week.

Taking advantage of the seminar's focus on the techniques rather than policy, speakers weighed up the pros and cons of the leading planning models in use today.

National Road Traffic Forecast director Tom Worsley described how a basic road traffic forecast evolved into the FORGE model (filling on regional growth with elasticity), used to underpin the ten year plan.

The FORGE model was used to show that under the plan, and in combination with congestion charging, increases in road traffic would be limited to 12%. Projections for traffic growth without any regulation or charging were 22%.

The model also showed demand for passenger rail travel would be pushed from 23% to 83%, and for rail freight from 10% to 120% under the transport plan.

'It is a good time to be a modeller, ' said Worsley. 'I only wish there were more of us.'

Worsley was joined by Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) transport modeller Daniel Livingstone, who demonstrated how the PLANET model is used by the SRA in appraising the forecasts of those bidding for franchise replacements and new infrastructure.

Mick Roberts spoke on behalf of Transport for London about its multi-modal traffic forecasting model LTS.

LTS contains data on 30,000 highway and 20,000 public transport links across London.

Roberts explained that LTS can produce a range of outputs including bus and rail service loads and economic appraisals.

Many schemes across London have been assessed by LTS, including the Jubilee Line Extension, Thameslink 2000, CrossRail and the DLR extension, along with many area-wide bus priority schemes.

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