Liverpool City Council (LCC) has appointed Royal HaskoningDHV to review road transport infrastructure within three arterial corridors connecting to the city centre – all with the aim of aiding public transport movement, walking and cycling as well as facilitating regeneration. The multi-modal analysis work included extensive data collection; review of accessibility along the three corridors; walking, cycling and bus improvements; options development and cost estimations; traffic operations modelling; testing traffic control using Flowtack; presentations to senior Council officials; and stakeholder consultation.
The three main corridors are part of a strategic network of eight principal roads which account for most of the congestion and safety concerns in the city. In fact, the three main corridors have experienced almost 350 collisions over the last five years and safety was emphasised as being a major concern in the city. Careful consideration was given to improved safety measures.
Stakeholder engagement also identified the need to use technology to improve reliability and journey times to complement the infrastructure improvements. In particular, a real-time travel optimisation system was identified to be provided over-and-above the physical infrastructure. The technology needed to be able to be added to the existing urban traffic control (UTC) network offering multi-modal benefits to the network.
The study identified a range of infrastructure improvements to improve travel conditions. For each of the three corridors we developed site-specific measures to improve safety, enhance accessibility and maximise network operational efficiency for all road users. Those measures to improve safety are aimed at controlling vehicle speeds and improving crossing and travel facilities. The improvements to pedestrian crossing and cycling facilities will improve accessibility to public transport, services and facilities. The improvement plans include the following measures:
- Pedestrian safety and accessibility
- Cycling safety and accessibility
- Public transport priority
- Public realm Improvements
- Parking management
- Freight servicing
As well as the physical infrastructure improvements (hardware) our solution also included a travel technology system (software) to provide a full package of measures for each of the three corridors. The software system will undertake real-time travel optimisation of the UTC network along each corridor. Flowtack was recommended, which will utilise real-time information to adjust traffic signal timings. The system will cover general motor vehicles, buses, walking and cycling, and will aim to improve efficiency and safety for all road users.
We have modelled Flowtack along each of the three main road corridors (circa 37 signals) and comparing to existing UTC. This has observed conservative Flowtack results using outputs from the client’s own model. The results were a dramatic improvement, and a cost/benefit analysis using the UK Government’s own WebTAG evaluation procedures showed significant value and level of return across all the tests (network operations, reduced delays, stop/starts, safety and environment emissions). The benefit-to-cost ratios (BCR) were as much as 3.47 times the level of investment needed – in other words, over £3 in network benefits for every £1 invested.