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Impact of weather conditions on macroscopic urban travel times

Tsapakis, I; Cheng, T; Bolbol, A; (2013) Impact of weather conditions on macroscopic urban travel times. Journal of Transport Geography , 28 204 - 211. 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.11.003. Green open access

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Abstract

Weather conditions may significantly impact a series of everyday human decisions and activities. As a result, engineers seek to integrate weather-related data into traffic operations in order to improve the current state of practice. Travel times and speeds are two of the elements of a transportation system that may be greatly affected by the weather resulting in deterioration of roadway network performance. This study aims to investigate the impact of different intensities of rain, snow and temperature levels on macroscopic travel times in the Greater London area (UK) during the period 1 October–10 December 2009. The analysis was carried out for three 2-h periods on weekdays during the morning, afternoon and evening periods. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data obtained from more than 380 travel links are used in the analysis. The main finding is that the impact of rain and snow is a function of their intensity. Specifically, the ranges of the total travel time increase due to light, moderate and heavy rain are: 0.1–2.1%, 1.5–3.8%, and 4.0–6.0% respectively. Light snow results in travel time increases of 5.5–7.6%, whilst heavy snow causes the highest percentage delays spanning from 7.4% to 11.4%. Temperature has nearly negligible effects on travel times. It was also found that the longer links within outer London generally yield greater travel time decreases than those in inner London, and even higher decreases than the shortest links in central London. This research provides planners with additional information that can be used in traffic management to modify planning decisions and improve the transportation system control on a network scale under different weather conditions. In order to determine whether the weather effects are region-specific, continued research is needed to replicate this study in other areas that exhibit different characteristics.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of weather conditions on macroscopic urban travel times
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.11.003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.11.003
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Weather conditions, Precipitation, Snow, Temperature, Macroscopic urban travel times
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1380395
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