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Optimising sustainable transport in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

An understanding of varied demographics is essential to improving bus access and active travel provision

Laurence Chittock
19 October 2023
The ABM will help support sustainable initiatives by highlighting how active travel is intertwined with activity proximity, and trip chaining
The ABM will help support sustainable initiatives by highlighting how active travel is intertwined with activity proximity, and trip chaining

 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority have recently started working with an activity-based model, designed to enhance optioneering and serve as an early scheme assessment tool.

Refined spatial detail and an understanding of varied demographics is essential to improving bus access and active travel provision.

Technological shifts will only support decarbonisation so far. Recognising this, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority wants to introduce schemes which make mode shift away from car more convenient and competitive.

To support the planning for such schemes, the Authority is embarking on the development of an activity-based transport model (ABM) for the region.

This new tool will aim to improve option assessment and serve as an early evaluation testbed for a range of schemes. The model will sit alongside a strategic TAG consistent model, in particular helping to scope and refine public transport and active travel initiatives in the region.

In this article we will explain the activity-based model approach, highlight how the model can be used to identify scheme impacts on distinct population segments, and to streamline options prior to strategic model testing.


If you’d like to hear how this new model is being built and what this means for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, join Lou Mason-Walsh and Laurence Chittock at Modelling World on 3rd November


Technological shifts will only support decarbonisation so far. Recognising this, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority wants to introduce schemes which make mode shift away from car more convenient and competitiv 

Embracing a more detailed model

The ABM will help support sustainable initiatives by highlighting how active travel is intertwined with activity proximity, and trip chaining.

By factoring in individual activities, the model will also help highlight improvements that could be made to local bus routes and timetables to better serve specific population segments, in particular those who are dependent on public transport to get around. 

The new ABM is being built in PTV Visum and will provide more granular detail than a traditional model. In particular, the ABM offers a more comprehensive view of travel behaviour by considering not just journeys but the activities individuals engage in throughout the day. And, with more refined spatial detail in both the network and access points, active travel and public transport trips – which often rely on walk access – can be represented with more precision. 

 

1 - Walking distance to local bus stops is an important determinant for trip making decisions

Analysing Impacts on Population Segments

By modelling people as individuals, the ABM will help to examine how transport schemes affect different population segments, in particular:

How car to public transport mode shift might be encouraged, and which members of the community might find it easier or more difficult to shift from car dependency,

Helping to provide equitable travel solutions to address the needs of everyone in the region,

Tailoring infrastructure design to encourage sustainable travel among diverse demographic groups.

Efficient option assessment

Undertaking a full scheme assessment is often time consuming and costly, so the ABM will be used to help streamline options before they undergo extensive testing and appraisal in the strategic model. This will help save time and resource and will provide early indicative responses to specific interventions.

Join us at Modelling World

The development of a new activity-based model demonstrates the Authority’s commitment to a transport system that not only moves people efficiently but also supports sustainability, promotes equitable provision, and saves time in the planning process. If you’d like to hear how this new model is being built and what this means for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, join Lou Mason-Walsh and Laurence Chittock at Modelling World on 3rd November.

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