How traffic data is shaping our transportation planning

If, like most people, you’ve sat in your car in a traffic jam wondering why the gas repairs are being done at the same time as the new development building, you’ll be encouraged by the knowledge that planners and transportation leaders are working hard to determine how to streamline new projects and improvements to existing infrastructure to help keep things moving.

This type of work is data driven – that data might come from traffic surveys and on-site data collection or it might come from historic reports, or from working alongside other providers such as the rail network or local utility companies.

Inrix, a leading traffic information supplier, says that its data shows that traffic congestion in the UK costed more than £37 billion in 2017 with, on average, 31 hours per year spent in congestion per driver. That’s a huge dent in the economy – both nationally and regionally.

Understanding traffic data

Underpinning improvements in this area is all about taking the time to understand what happens on our roads on a day-to-day basis, and how that activity is affected by roadworks, improvements and development work. That means looking at the knock-on effects as well as the immediate impact. When considerable works are in place, the journey time from A to B using that route will be increased. To know what the increase might be, you need a bench measure for that journey, hence the journey survey.

Planners and project managers also need to take into account the potential for routes around the area to become more congested as drivers try to avoid the works. That means either creating a good diversion route, or knowing what the key alternative routes might be, and ensuring there are no works or blockages on those routes whilst the major work is taking place. By communicating and co-ordinating, agencies can help each other to minimise the impact of works on road users.

Road traffic surveys from RDS

At RDS, we offer a wide range of detailed surveys to help transport, planning and project professionals understand the potential impact of work in a given area. Whether it’s for long-term roadworks or improvements, or for planning a new road system to serve a residential or commercial development, it’s important to understand the current state of play in terms of journey time, congestion, parking and pedestrian usage.

We offer comprehensive surveys with accurate data supplied in the format that’s best for you. To find out more about how we can help, contact us today.

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