London s Highway Assignment Models

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1 London s Highway Assignment Models July 2016

2 Introduction Contents 3 Introduction 4 Why do we need transport models? 6 TfL s suite of models 8 What are the HAMs? 10 How were the HAMs developed? 12 What can the HAMs be used for? 14 What information can be extracted from the HAMs? This document is an introduction to Transport for London s (TfL s) Highway Assignment Models (HAMs). It explains the basic concepts of transport modelling and discusses the role of the HAMs in the suite of models that we develop and maintain in TfL Planning. Information is also provided on the development of the HAMs, their range of uses and the steps required by anyone who wants to use them. A more comprehensive set of documents is also available which explain the development of the models in more detail. In addition, TfL Planning can help with any queries. Contact details are on page How can I use the HAMs? 18 More information and contacts Transport for London, October 2014 All rights reserved. Reproduction permitted for research, private study and internal circulation within an organisation. Extracts may be reproduced provided the source is acknowledged. Disclaimer This publication is intended to provide accurate information. However, TfL and the authors accept no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any damage or loss arising from use of the information provided. London s Highway Assignment Models 3

3 Why do we need transport models? Investment in transport can bring about a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits, both locally and nationally. Introducing new routes, improving highways, building stations and bridges and changing fares and tolls are all investment options that may make it easier for people to move around, or help address the problems of road congestion and public transport crowding. However, with limited financial resources and a variety of potential options, how can we tell which transport improvements are the best to invest in? To answer this, we need to predict the impact of each potential transport scheme on people s travel decisions and the consequent congestion and crowding impacts as London s population and workforce continues to grow and change. Transport models are a source of help and guidance when carrying out such predictions. The decisions that an individual makes when considering travel options can be summarised as follows: Transport models are developed to predict some or all of these decisions, with different models often combining to provide an overall picture. They are highly specialised mathematical representations of transport networks that require substantial training to develop the expertise to apply them correctly. TfL s models aim to represent the behaviour of drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians as they negotiate the city s vast transport network. They also show the way transport interventions such as alterations to services and capacity affect travel decisions and the consequent performance of the network. They cover all the main modes of travel including car, taxi, bus, Underground, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and National Rail as well as freight transport. They help TfL in planning to meet London s future transport needs and identify which transport interventions are likely to be most effective in meeting goals set in the Mayor s Transport Strategy. Should I live in a place with better transport connections? Do I need to own a car? Shall I travel at all? Which route shall I take? What time of day shall I travel? Where shall I travel to? Which mode of transport shall I use? 4 Why do we need transport models? London s Highway Assignment Models 5

4 TfL s suite of models Our models aim to represent all the different decisions that an individual makes when planning a journey. A selection of these models is shown below indicating how data such as demand (the number of trips between each origin and destination) is passed between models. The models described here are often referred to as strategic models, which are used for forecasting the long-term impacts of schemes over wide areas. TfL also owns and operates other models, sometimes known as tactical or operational models, which are used for assessing the short-term impacts. These models include the ONE model and microsimulation models developed using the VISSIM and Legion software packages. This booklet focuses on strategic models only, information on TfL s tactical and operational models is available separately. The London Transportation Studies Model (LTS): A model which uses population and employment forecasts and other inputs to predict the number of trips to be made in London in the future, where people travel to and from, when they travel and which transport mode they use. The London Land-Use and Transport Interaction Model (LonLUTI): A model which predicts the use of land for different human activities depending on Government policies and transport investment. Planning data Demand Railplan Railplan Public Transport Assignment Model: A public transport model that predicts the public transport mode (eg. rail, underground, bus) and route that a person chooses to get to their destination, as well as the associated crowding impacts. LonLUTI LTS LoRDM The Highway Assignment Models (HAMs): Five models covering the whole of London which predict the routes that drivers choose and the associated congestion and delay impacts on London s roads. Cost of travel Demand HAMs The London Regional Demand Model (LoRDM) (still under development): A demand balancing model which is similar to LTS but uses the HAMs and Railplan for modelling the choice of route. 6 TfL s suite of models London s Highway Assignment Models 7

5 What are the HAMs? LoHAM covers the whole of the Capital and has been split into five core areas covered by the individual sub-regional HAMs. These are illustrated opposite Three models, representing key time periods during the day, have been developed for each of the five HAMs. These time periods are: AM Peak (08:00-09:00) These are strategic models that are used to provide an overall impression of the impact of major highway schemes or large residential or office developments. In the past, whenever a scheme or development in London needed to be assessed, it meant creating a new highway model. This led to a number of different models, all of which had been created at different times with different emphases and had no clear consistency between them. Inter Peak (an average hour between 10:00 and 16:00) PM Peak (17:00-18:00) Between them, the HAMs cover a vast number of roads and junctions across London. The image below gives an idea of their complexity and scale (model zones are used to allocate the start and end points of all trips to geographical areas). The HAMs were developed to provide a consistent basis for highway modelling and the underpinning of planning across the Capital. The aim was to have one set of models available to all, both within TfL and externally. LoHAM has been developed to model the whole of London and has been used to derive five sub-regional HAMs representing Central, East, South, West and North London. Nearly 5,200 model zones Over 25,000 junctions London Highway Assignment Model LoHAM Central London Highway Assignment Model CLoHAM East London Highway Assignment Model ELHAM South London Highway Assignment Model West London Highway Assignment Model SoLHAM WeLHAM Around 60,000 individual road sections North London Highway Assignment Model NoLHAM 8 What are the HAMs? London s Highway Assignment Models 9

6 How were the HAMs developed? The creation of the HAMs began in The first versions (HAM Production 1) were delivered in 2011 and have been used in more than 100 different applications across the Capital by a variety of private and public organisations. Following the delivery of HAM Production1, work began to enhance the existing models, resulting in the HAM Production 2 base year models, being completed in They included extra network detail, improved reliability of traffic movements represented within the model, and a range of supporting tools designed to monitor the model development progress and provide standard outputs. HAM Production 3 followed in early 2016 representing a further step change in model reliability and quality, and the introduction of LoHAM. The models were produced using a very large set of comprehensive survey data comprising: A total of 6,500 individual traffic flow counts Origin-destination surveys (to determine the origin and destination of trips) carried out on roads in and out of 47 different areas within London Journey time surveys carried out on 179 individual routes in both directions The model development also included detailed analysis of road and junction characteristics to ensure the models represented the Capital s highway conditions as realistically as possible. The development of the HAMs has been undertaken with careful adherence to industry guidelines, and has been led by or reviewed by experts in the field of transport modelling. In particular, the Department for Transport s Transport Analysis Guidance (WebTAG) was followed to ensure the HAMs were robust and reliable. Experts were brought in to work alongside our own staff to deliver the HAMs to the highest standards possible. Details of the work undertaken have been documented in a single model development report. This is available on request. Once the base year models were finalised, additional work was undertaken using upto-date plans for future highway schemes and the latest population, employment and economic forecasts, to produce a set of future year models representing 2021, 2031 and The growth for these was based on outputs from LTS. 10 How were the HAMs developed? London s Highway Assignment Models 11

7 What can the HAMs be used for? Type of Study Assessment of a potential new highway Key strengths of the HAMs in this case The HAMs are designed to assess the rerouteing impacts of such schemes Key limitations of the HAMs in this case Impacts on minor streets and turning movement flows should not be relied upon without further model development Other tools to consider Microsimulation, LTS Summary advice To understand the potential applications of the HAMs, it is perhaps important to first recognise their limitations. Transport models cannot represent accurately every journey made by every vehicle on every road. They are also not precise in the way they replicate specific driver behaviour and the interaction between vehicles. Even with an extensive set of observed data, there are many factors that impact on people s travel behaviour, and on the day-to-day variation in traffic flows and journey times, which are random and impossible to predict. Attempting to develop a model that represents these variations perfectly is unrealistic and is sometimes referred to as over-fitting. Understanding the limitations of a model is vital to making best use of it and taking advantage of its strengths. The reasonable level of expectation from the HAMs is that they are able to estimate the likely route choices of road users, and the resulting average levels of traffic and congestion, on important roads in our areas of interest around London. It is generally expected that whenever a HAM is used for a new project, the model will need to be reviewed and refined to ensure it is fit for the purposes required. The table opposite gives examples of when to use the HAMs, and also suggests alternatives if they are not the best tools to use. The HAMs would be highly useful for this study The HAMs could be used for this study but an understanding of their limitations in this case would be important The HAMs are not the best tool for assessing the impacts of this study but could provide some supporting analysis Assessment of a new residential development Opportunity Area Planning Framework Assessing the impact of overall predicted traffic growth Modelling revised traffic arrangements in a town centre Modelling the effect of installing a new pedestrian crossing Modelling the impact of a new cycle scheme Applying a new toll on a bridge Assessing the changes brought about by encouraging the use of public transport General congestion impacts and the associated rerouteing should be well represented The additional strain on the road network brought about by the growth should be well represented General rerouteing and congestion impacts should be well represented Route choice and congestion impacts could be estimated as long as the level of additional delay is well represented We are currently working on ideas for representing cycle flows and schemes in the HAMs Route choice and congestion impacts could be estimated if good inputs on the propensity to pay the toll were available for various groups Buses are represented in the model and any predicted changes in the provision of bus services could be assessed As above The HAMs will provide an assessment of impacts from a strategic viewpoint Turning movement flows should not be relied upon without further model development Changes may be too local to have a demonstrable impact due to model noise The modelling of cycling is still in its early stages and is a topic of discussion across the industry The modelling of new tolls requires some surveys and preparatory work to be undertaken before considering the modelling aspect The HAMs can only provide highway impacts and are not able to independently predict the impact of policy decisions Microsimulation Microsimulation, LTS LTS Microsimulation Microsimulation LTS LTS, Railplan Assessment of a new rail or Tube scheme The impact of a new public transport scheme on highway trips could be fed into the HAMs from LTS The benefits to public transport users of any new scheme would need to be assessed in a tool other than the HAMs LTS, Railplan 12 What can the HAMs be used for? London s Highway Assignment Models 13

8 What information can be extracted from the HAMs? Regent's Park Kings Cross Angel Change in Flow (PCUs) > to to to to 100 Not Shown +/- 50 PCUs Euston Old Street -51 to to to -300 Marylebone Farringdon -301 to -500 < -501 Paddington Holborn Marble Arch Soho City of London Mayfair Rotherhithe Tnl The HAMs can be used to extract a wide range of information depending on the purpose of the modelling being undertaken. It is common to compare the data extracted from a number of modelled scenarios when assessing the impact of a transport scheme or development. In the first instance, statistics that indicate traffic conditions can be extracted directly from the model and then analysed. These statistics include: Traffic volumes on a particular road Journey times on a given route Total distance or time travelled by all vehicles on the road network Average speed of vehicles on the road network Traffic movements in and out of a predefined cordon of the road network Routeing of all traffic using a particular section of road Traffic impact on air quality using the Emissions Assessment Tool Kensington Hyde Park Chelsea Knightsbridge Victoria London Bridge Bankside Waterloo Elephant & Castle Lambeth Vauxhall Kennington Camberwell Tower Bridge Bermondsey Level of delay at a junction The data can be presented in a variety of different ways, for instance in a tabular or graphical format. A very effective method of displaying some of this data is using a Geographical Information System (GIS), where the information is mapped allowing the impacts to be seen graphically (see example above). Another important use of the HAMs is for economic appraisal of transport schemes. Information on the number of trips, distance travelled and time taken can be extracted from two model scenarios and fed into specialist software. This will measure the benefits that one scenario has over another with respect to factors such as time savings, fuel costs, accidents and the environment. Comparing this to the costs of the scheme being tested can provide an understanding of whether it is worthwhile and how it compares against alternative options. 14 What information can be extracted from the HAMs? London s Highway Assignment Models 15

9 How can I use the HAMs? Inception Consideration of modelling work required Consideration of which HAM (if any) would be appropriate Ensure model accreditation and licensing is in place The HAMs can be used by anyone undertaking appropriate studies, such as London boroughs, other local authorities and private developers, as well as all TfL departments. The use of the HAMs is controlled by an accreditation and licensing arrangement. This is to ensure that users have the appropriate level of expertise needed to enhance and run the models and can correctly interpret the outputs. Use of HAMs by type of project sponsor 12% 3% 10% 53% Implementation of modelling task Carry out a model review and allow time for data collection and/or model refinements if necessary Plan project programme, ensuring that all modelling outputs required for other appraisal and assessment can be provided in good time Allow for iteration with other appraisal and assessment Ensure that the required model outputs and analyses are clearly defined Implementation of other appraisal and assessment Plan project programme, ensuring that all modelling inputs can be provided in good time Allow for iteration with modelling task Accreditation Any individual or organisation wishing to be appointed to undertake HAM modelling will need to be accredited. Accreditation is open to anyone with the experience required to use the HAMs. The accreditation, which is subject to a fee, is renewed annually. Details of our current accreditation fees are available from Accredited bodies are required to attend and contribute to a quarterly HAM Forum and agree to return any new versions of the models that they produce as part of the projects they are working on. 22% TfL London boroughs Private companies GLA Other public bodies Reporting Make use of modelling expertise to ensure that model results are interpreted correctly Be clear about the modelling methods used State any limitations associated with the modelling conclusions drawn Licensing Whenever a HAM model is required for a certain scheme, the project sponsor who commissions the work, plus the appointed accredited consultant working for the sponsor will need to be licensed to use the model. There is a fee to pay to use the HAMs. The fee is only for access to the model. Details of our current model access fees are available from Typical HAM project life cycle The figure opposite gives an example of a project life cycle that involves the use of the HAMs. It emphasises the interaction that often occurs between the modelling task and the other appraisal and assessment associated with the project. Timescales on each project tend to vary from a matter of weeks to many months, depending on the scope and complexity. Review Discuss the project as a whole and its use of the model Consider what went well and what could be improved Return any new versions of the model to TfL at project close 16 How can I use the HAMs? London s Highway Assignment Models 17

10 More information and contacts For queries about the HAMs, please contact the Strategic Analysis team in TfL Planning using one of the addresses below: For all general HAM queries For licensing and accreditation queries 18 More information and contacts

11 Transport for London Windsor House Victoria Street London SW1H 0TL July 2016 tfl.gov.uk FL16_099

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