Traffic Model Advances

04.06.09

Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council (TMBC) has given a green light to proposals for a major improvement scheme for the M60 corridor southwest of Manchester following their consideration of a highly detailed traffic model produced by RPS. The modelling work led to the Highways Agency lifting their holding objection just before Christmas, allowing the local councils to consider the scheme. [1]

The infrastructure proposals principally relate to the development of a rail freight interchange on the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford and extend into Trafford.

Highway infrastructure proposals for the scheme include:

  • additional lanes on sections of M60,
  • closure of three slip roads,
  • re-construction of two motorway junctions,
  • construction of a 2km parallel collector/distributor road to relieve motorway congestion,
  • associated improvements to the local highway network.

RPS’ skilled transport planners produced a micro-simulation (VISSIM) traffic assignment and highway capacity assessment model covering major roads within approx. 25sqkm area to the south-west of Manchester also covering the M60 orbital from junction 8-12.  The scenarios tested included traffic arising from the rail freight terminal and projected traffic forecast from other major development proposals in the corridor -notably a 3,000 unit residential proposal and over 250,000sqft of office space.

On completion, the project will be amongst the largest and most complex private sector highway schemes in the north of England.  The VISSIM model was used to assess changes in traffic assignment and capacity of infrastructure improvements.