Accessibility Planning

Reducing social exclusion is a key element of government policy. One aspect of social exclusion occurs when members of the population do not have access to key services such as doctors, hospitals, schools etc. Local authorities are therefore tasked with calculating how accessible these services are for members of the population.

We have been using accessibility since the ‘90’s and our Accessibility with Visual-tm software has evolved to help with these studies. When the DfT announced a switch to using accessibility planning for Local Transport Plans, we refined Accessibility with Visual-TM so that others could use our powerful software. Public sector clients can derive their public transport networks automatically from the DfT’s CIF files held in the National Transport Data Repository.

Visual-tm provides the capability for calculating your accessibility indicators and connecting this into your models so that you can forecast how different scenarios will impact on the accessibility of people in your area.

Here are some brief details about some projects we have conducted in this area.

Calculating the Accessibility to Health Services in North London

Date: 2006

This project involved working for a private sector client who was bidding to manage a full range of health services in London for the NHS. Our task was to investigate a range of proposed sites thought suitable for providing these services and to calculate the nature of their accessibility for the local community. This was achieved by creating a public transport network model for North London and using the accessibility component of peter davidson’s Visual transport modeller to calculate a range of accessibility indicators. This project was completed in 2006 and our client was successful in their bid to manage these services for the NHS

Developing a County-wide Land Use Transport Model with Accessibility and Monitoring Database

Date: 2005

Cheshire County Council had a number of schemes which needed demand, revenue and appraisal modelling. They need a systematic monitoring system and they needed to refocus their business towards accessibility for the appraisal process. Peter Davidson’s Visual transport Modeller (Visual-TM) was chosen as their software platform and the project included consultancy and assistance to develop the system and implement it in conjunction with the County.

The Multimodal County Model’s origin-destination (o-d) database was developed from census data, roadside interviews, ticketing data, the rail passenger matrix and counts and the build specification set up within ERICA4. Networks were taken from mapping and ATCO CIF files and models for: trip generation, distribution, mode choice, public transport and capacity restrained highway assignment calibrated and set up to iterate until the transport supply/ demand had converged to equilibrium.

The model was connected to the county’s databases for counts, accidents and monitoring data so that the County could ask What..if? questions to set and monitor their targets using the model to forecast the likely out-turn. Visual-TM’s accessibility module was extended to include the county’s accessibility indicators. The whole system was connected to the county’s ArcInfo gis for widespread use within the County. A web prototype for accessibility is also underway.

Bedfordshire Rural Bus Accessibility Study

Date: 2002; 2005 and 2006

Peter Davidson Consultancy were commissioned to undertake a study to calculate accessibility indices for the County including the DfT’s rural bus accessibility measure. The 2002 study calculated a base year figure that could be used for County’s Best Value Performance Indicator and the 2003 and 2004 studies monitored changes as part of the county’s Annual Progress Report towards their Local Transport Plan.

Our methodology implemented within our Visual Transport Modeller (Visual-TM) software, utilised GIS techniques to map populations adjacent to bus stops with an hourly or better bus service. The 2002 study used the Ordnance Survey file of households and the county’s bus stop database to compute the accessibility statistics. In the 2004 study a more up-to-date household register was used with the County’s ATOC CIF bus database to compute more precise accessibility indices. Visual-TM’s mapping was used to illustrate the geography.


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