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Latest HS2 PLANET Model report published

Peter Stonham
20 September 2023
 

The Department for Transport have published a Model Description Report for the Planet Framework Model version 10a (PFM v10a) which is being used to forecast the passenger demand and benefits of High Speed 2. The 169-page document details the features unique to PFM and the forecasting and appraisal methodology. 

The PLANET Framework Model has been developed by HS2 Ltd, and is subject to a rolling programme of updates and upgrades that seeks to use industry best practice to improve its suitability. 

PFMv10a has been used to produce the HS2 reference case as presented in the Economic Case section of the overall business case. The Model Description Report does not present the forecasting assumptions used for the HS2 Reference Case, nor the outcomes of the economic assessment, though the methodology both for forecasting and appraisal is described. 

The PLANET Framework Model has evolved over a number of years and was developed out of pre-existing components, including PLANET’s PLD zoning system, based on local authority district level, with aggregation in the more remote areas to produce 235 zones, including a separate zone for Heathrow Airport. The zone design is designed to best capture long- distance movement. Its main aim is to provide forecasts of passenger demand and generalised monetary and travel time costs to feed into the economic appraisal of the HS2 scheme. 

The forecasting inputs include base year passenger demand patterns for rail, air, and highway; the forecast growth in future years;, and demand response to changes in the provision of future rail services, including both new high-speed rail services and/or changes to rail services on the existing conventional rail network. 

The report says “It may be expected that passenger demand for HS2 will be a mixture

of demand transferring (or ‘abstracted’) from highway and air, as well as additional ‘generated’ demand. This means that PFM needs to represent the supply and demand for those other modes where demand may transfer to HS2.” 

It continues:“The Planet FrameworK Model is conventional in the sense that it contains a multi-modal supply representation based on networks, together with a multi-modal demand model which is segmented by different types of travel which responds to changes in generalised cost. 

“Due to the nature of the HS2 scheme, the emphasis of PFM is mainly on representing longer distance travel. The main area where shorter distance travel needs to be represented is on the rail side. This is in order to reflect the fact that short distance passengers can cause crowding on long distance trains, and also to be able to model the benefits that arise from running additional local services. This is done by making use of regional network models.” 

Soon after the establishment of  High Speed Two Limited in 2009 to investigate the feasibility and credibility of building new high- speed rail lines between London and Scotland, it began developing a modelling framework for the assessment of different options, and, given the time available for model development the existing PLANET suite was selected. The core of this suite was PLANET Long-Distance (PLD), a multi- modal model of all day travel across Great Britain that focuses on long-distance travel demand, considering rail, car and air travel for trips over 50 miles selected to cover the market for the High Speed Rail proposals. It has been used previously by NetworkRail. 

The LDM is designed to be able to assess the impact of policies on all four existing modes used for long-distance travel. Initial inputs drew on information from stated preference surveys collected between November 2009 and January 2010 about potential high- speed rail demand. 

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