CEG8421 : Traffic Flow and Control

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module covers the basic principles of traffic flow and control, capacity and congestion. It will include development of signal control far beyond the current course content.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Basis of traffic flow theory (e.g. speed flow curve, link capacity, principles of link design)
•       Capacity of roads and transport systems - what is capacity?
•       Traffic Management as an alternative to new road building and widening
•       Junction design (e.g. different types, route and network capacity governed by critical junctions)
•       Signal-controlled junctions (e.g. isolated signal design calculations, Webster and Cobbe)
•       Signal plans (e.g. for different times of the day)
•       Worked examples and computer design - on-street data collection or using video in class
•       Green waves, maximum band widths, area-based coordination
•       Principles of TRANSYT (e.g. models, dispersion algorithm, concepts of performance, measures (uniform and random (half isolated)) of delay, stops, queue component, emissions, use of PI to optimise network, hill climbing process)
•       Signal plans for time of day, special events, weather, plan change algorithms, ageing of traffic signal plans
•       Pedestrian crossings, pelicans, toucans, pv^2
•       Limitations of fixed time control, 2.5 generation plans, demand responsive control
•       Bus TRANSYT and principles of SCOOT, Message types, signal timing protocols, accommodating bus priority
•       Data Integration and systems architecture for traffic control and management - public and operator interfaces (Site Visit- UTMC)
•       Emissions estimation - vehicle and systems, from "average flow, average speed" to bespoke SCOOT based emissions algorithms. Behavioural effect on emissions.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion200:3010:00Revision for Examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Junction Design report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical31:003:00Computer based tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study146:0046:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Formal lectures are used to teach the theoretical concepts, and calculation methods. Examples of junction assessment software are demonstrated in computer tutorials. These can be used by students in the coursework to reinforce learning the theory and its application.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A70Unseen written examination
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M30Junction assessment and design exercise (Delivered by video report with storyboard)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will test the students' knowledge and understanding of the taught material. The junction assessment and design exercise will reinforce the techniques taught, and allow students to gain experience in using appropriate software to carry out a study typical of what might be expected in the workplace. Delivery of the report by video will add presentational skills that are appropriate to the modern workplace and methods of engaging with stakeholders. The supporting storyboard will indicate how the task has been tackled and delivered by each team.

Reading Lists