A time-lapse image of traffic on a busy road

Transport planning for our future

23 April 2018
Outdated models cannot cope with Sydney's complexity
Dr Michiel Bliemer has developed a new model to forecast traffic flows in Sydney, aiming to replace unrealistic and inefficient government modelling that hasn't changed since the 1950s.

Research Highlights with Michiel Bliemer

The current challenge we face with traffic is that travel demand is higher than the supply of roads. Dr Michiel Bliemer, Professor and Chair in Transport Network Modelling, is a leading expert in transport planning and traffic management who is developing new ways to forecast traffic volumes and conditions.

The modelling currently being used around the world by governments for transport planning dates back to the 1950s. Using these outdated mathematical models to predict how a road will benefit travel time does not take into account congestion on roads and assumes they have unlimited capacity. This can lead to ineffective use of the taxpayer money because roads that fail to benefit travel times are being funded.

Professor Bliemer has developed new models that can more accurately predict the impact a new road will have on queues, flows and travel times. As an example, the average travel time for someone in Sydney is worth about $20 per hour, and these new models can more accurately predict how this cost would change if a new road were built.

The outcome from the new modelling will be more effective transport planning and better use of public funds. Everybody needs to be mobile, so being able to accurately predict our transport needs for the future is essential.

Published work

Possel B, Wismans LJJ, Van Berkum EC and Bliemer MCJ 2018 'The multi-objective network design problem using minimizing externalities as objectives: comparison of a genetic algorithm and simulated annealing framework', Transportation, vol.45:2, pp. 545-572

Batley R, Bates J, Bliemer MCJ and et al 2018 Forthcoming 'New appraisal values of travel time saving and reliability in Great Britain', Transportation

Bliemer MCJ and Raadsen M 2018 Forthcoming 'Continuous-time general link transmission model with simplified fanning, part I: Theory and link model formulation', Transportation Research Part B: Methodological

Raadsen M and Bliemer MCJ 2018 Forthcoming 'Continuous-time general link transmission model with simplified fanning, Part II: Event-based algorithm for networks', Transportation Research Part B: Methodological


Listen to an interview about the research with Dr Michiel Bliemer to learn more.

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