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The Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) Model

Work is currently in hand to create a Saturn (Simulation and Assignment of Traffic to Urban Road Networks) highway computer model for Greater Manchester and parts of the adjacent counties. The Saturn model will form part of a new modelling system that will represent the interactions between transport supply and demand, and land-use, across the study area. Greater Manchester Planning & Research’s work focuses on the Saturn model element of the new modelling system.

junctionFor strategic highway modelling, Forecasting and Analytical Services has recently been using the Sub-Regional Highway Model (SRHM). This was set up in the 1990s and it was based on Greater Manchester Planning & Research’s previous strategic highway model. The SRHM uses the Trips modelling package via a Cube interface. It models individual road links, but it does not represent junctions in detail.

The Saturn model will be better than the SRHM, in two main respects. Firstly, the network representation is more detailed, in that:

  • more junctions (nodes) and links are represented, including all the roads used by buses

  • the information coded for junctions includes such elements as the stages, offsets and green times at traffic signals, the number of lanes on each approach to junctions and the allocation of turns to lanes, all of which facilitates the detailed modelling of interactions at junctions.

Secondly, the zoning system, which determines where traffic enters and leaves the network, is more detailed. The Saturn zoning system is based on local authority wards, which are subdivided where necessary to better represent the detailed origin and destination points of traffic. Also, significant traffic generators such as the big hospitals and retail sites have zones of their own.

The new model is currently being set up, calibrated and validated. It will then be used in the technical work that will underpin the bid which the Greater Manchester authorities intend to make in Summer 2007 to the Department For Transport's Transport Innovation Fund (TIF).

For more information contact Barry Weston – 0161 455 2032

External links
Saturn software website
Greater Manchester Future Transport

Last updated: 23 October, 2006

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