The Challenge

Bedford Borough Council (BBC) contacted SYSTRA to discuss their requirements for microsimulation modelling to develop and test options which will refine the conceptual junctions designs which are in the public domain as part of “Transporting Bedford 2020”. The existing VISSIM model of Bedford Town Centre (which was developed in 2015) did not adequately cover the required area in detail (in particular the Manton Lane area which lay on the edge of the existing model). In addition, a new strategic link (The Great Ouse Way) on the A6 is not included in the existing Base model. The challenge was therefore to provide a model / models which would allow the 2020 schemes to be tested robustly and effectively. These model(s) could then also be used e.g. for testing the impact of proposed developments on the highway network.

SYSTRA's Role

SYSTRA proposed an approach where five independent microsimulation models were constructed to cover the key junctions in the Transporting Bedford 2020 scheme. These models were populated with traffic generated using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) surveys and calibrated / validated using traditional junction counts / journey time surveys. SYSTRA specified and procured the survey programme. The models were calibrated / validated to DMRB standard and subsequently used to test both the “2020” junction improvements and other proposed developments (school relocation / housing schemes etc). During this project, SYSTRA also supported BBC throughout a Public Inquiry providing model audits, additional modelling and technical advice.