Paramics Microsimulation used to model social distancing proposals
Vectos Microsim has been working alongside Warwickshire County Council to assess the potential implications of facilitating social distancing proposals through the reconfiguration of existing road space. These proposals will allow safe social distancing to be achieved in a number of areas as well as generally improving the environment for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Warwickshire County Council holds an extensive suite of wide area Paramics microsimulation models which have been developed to cover all of the major urban areas within the county.
Warwickshire County Council is in the process of updating the S-Paramics models to Paramics Discovery and so, as a result, there are a range of S-Paramics and Paramics Discovery models which exist across the county. The majority of these were used in this assessment.
Warwick and Leamington Paramics Model
Stratford Upon Avon Paramics Model
Using the existing Paramics microsimulation models held by Warwickshire County Council, Vectos Microsim undertook testing and modification of proposed schemes. The functionality of these models has been key to ensuring that the potential implications arising from the implementation of the social distancing schemes can be fully understood. Based upon this testing Vectos Microsim established a suitable Transport Strategy for Warwick and Leamington Spa which outlined the impact of social distancing measures on traffic conditions as a result of delivering the schemes.
The models have enabled different demand scenarios and network configurations to be quickly assessed and the outputs conveyed to non-technical stakeholders in an easily understandable format.
Paramics Microsimulation offered several benefits for modelling the impact of social distancing measures including the:
- ease of application of link restrictions making bus only sections quick and easy to input to the model
- ability to visually review the model to determine no significant pinch points arising from the implementation of the scheme proposals
- ease of being able to apply changes to link characteristics by selecting lots of links in one go
- ability to import and export demands and zones from the model allowing freedom to quickly assess a series of demand response scenarios
Vectos Microsim and Warwickshire County Council are now using some of these models to support a submission to the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) to make some of the changes permanent allowing the benefits to be secured for the future of certain areas by the delivery of permanent pedestrianised areas including the retail High Street as the social distancing requirements reduce.