Strategic public transport priority using selective vehicle detection - does it work?

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, ridership - commuting


As part of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions' (DETR) Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) programme, the UTMC01 project has been developing a new public transport priority application. This new application can make use of advance warning from selective vehicle detectors, at least one cycle before the vehicle is due to arrive at the junction, of the approach of public transport vehicles to signalised junctions. This allows the oppoitunity of using sophisticated interventions to ensure that the public transport vehicle is not held up at the junction. The intervention consists of a short series of "micro-plans" with change points specified to ensure a smooth transition from the background plan through the intervention timings, and back to the background plan. Co-ordination across multiple nodes is also possible. The application, which gives priority to trams in Sheffield, has been developed and tested using the AIMSUN2 micro- simulation model, prior to implementation on-street. Using simulation, comparisons are made of the performance of the new application with more traditional tactical methods of using extensions and recalls following vehicle detection close to the junction. The advantages of combining the new method with these traditional methods have also been investigated. The results of the micro-simulation study are presented here.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.