Improving access in Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute Council (ABC) have appointed Royal HaskoningDHV to assist them with updating their Urban Traffic Control (UTC) system. With mobility in the area undergoing a seismic shift and the need to improve local bus services, the Council planners must keep their towns and communities accessible and people moving while also facing the challenges of improving the environment. The current mobility system is no longer able to meet demand in this way and the previous traffic management system has struggled to keep pace with the dramatic changes in how travel has changed in the area. The existing system is often slow to react to changes on the road and many traffic lights still work on timers that are often out of synchronisation with the current traffic demands, preventing free-flowing movement. Moreover, cyclists and pedestrians were an after-thought in the planning and co-ordination of the system.

The growing demand for mobility

Argyll and Bute in Scotland includes a mixture of urban towns and rural areas as well as many of the Scottish western isles. Argyll and Bute Council is one of the Unitary Authorities in Scotland and is a member of the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive (known as the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, SPT). As such, it covers some of the most popular tourist locations in Scotland and transport links include road, rail and island ferry services – some of which are lifeline services to islanders. These important networks include local, regional and national transport links either passing through the region or connections to/from Argyll and Bute.

Our innovative approach

Royal HaskoningDHV has been working with the Council to design and implement the new UTC system which will link the authorities existing network of traffic signals with local bus and ferry services along with the cycle and pedestrian links. Mobility of the future is all about customisation and our services include:

  • Represent the client as their Project Management Office (PMO) for a new UTC and Traffic Signals Contract
  • Survey all Traffic Signals systems in four Districts (circa 129 systems in total)
  • Develop a GIS-based UTC Asset Register
  • Identify a UTC Strategy for key locations like the major town centre and World Heritage Sites
  • Prepare a feasibility study of Flowtack for this UTC Strategy. This will include cost/benefit analysis to confirm the level of return
  • Develop a Risk Register for the new system and strategy and use Monte Carlo Simulations modelling to prepare a Quantified Risk Appraisal (QRA)
  • Prepare UTC specifications and a skeletal Contract for a major new 5-year UTC Delivery and Maintenance Service
  • Assist the client during the new contract Tendering Process including responding to Technical Queries and Bidder Evaluations

Keeping the region moving

Royal HaskoningDHV has audited the full UTC network and developed the system on behalf of our client. We have now prepared the legal documents and Tendering Contract to issue to the marketplace for a full programme to maintain the network on behalf of the Council, as part of a Quality Bus Partnership (QBP) with Argyll and Bute Council and the local bus operators.

By combining new communications technology with the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to crunch vast amounts of data in real time, Royal HaskoningDHV has demonstrated how it is possible to shape the mobility system of tomorrow and improve travel conditions in Argyll and Bute roads by using new technology and the revolutionary, award-winning Flowtack system.