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BirminghamBirmingham City Council is the UK’s largest local authority responsible for the delivery and commissioning of a large number of services across the city (social services, economic development, education, sustainable development, waste, housing etc.) and works with partners to deliver the wider strategic vision for the city. Birmingham is situated in the West Midlands Metropolitan Area which forms the heart of the West Midlands region. Birmingham recognises the importance of the mobility of people and goods and has recently published its Mobility Action Plan for wider consultation.The mobility action plan is a long term vision and strategy for a city’s transport system. It seeks to understand the current and future challenges facing people and businesses and puts in place strategies to help the city reach its ultimate goals.

The region itself lies at the centre of the country and is home to some 5.4 million people. The Metropolitan Area constitutes the largest urban area in the country, outside London, with a population of 2.6 million people. It is home to almost half of the region’s population. It is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse areas in the UK. It is the economic driver of the region and makes a significant contribution to the economy of the nation. In addition Birmingham and project co-ordinators Lyon have been established partner cities since 1951, which has been characterised by numerous bilateral and multilateral exchanges including co-operation in EU funded projects,

Representative partner

The City Council is responsible for the management of the Urban and Inter-Urban road network within the city boundaries and is the representative partner in the project. Birmingham City Council has an Urban Traffic Management & Control system that is entirely compatible with the delivery requirements of the OPTICITIES proposal. This includes facilities such as a Common Database, Common Command & Control system, ITS devices on street and a range of VISSIM micro simulation models applicable to strategic routes across the city. 

Birmingham has a long association with the development and use of Intelligent Transport Systems that exploits the use of Urban Transport Management and Control (UTMC) technology. The city has benefited from investment from the West Midlands UTC Major Transport Scheme and the implementation of a UTMC strategy within the PFI contract. However, use of traffic management strategies, management of congestion and reaction to incidents and events is still largely based on reactive actions whose effectiveness can be undermined due to the time taken to define and implement a suitable reaction to the problem.

Role in the project

The Birmingham element of the project involves the development of an adaptive traffic management system that allows Urban Traffic Control centres to view a predicted scenario of traffic levels up to 60 minutes into the future, based upon analysis of data from traffic signals and traffic management systems. This harmonised data is then used to reduce congestion on the Strategic Road network through variation in signal timings and the delivery of real time journey information to the travelling public. Birmingham will lead on WP 3.1, Integration of Traffic Prediction into TMS, and will participate in the following work packages :

WP1 : Data Creation and Use

WP2 : Open ITS System

WP3 : Decision Support Tools

WP6 : Experimentation

WP7 : Pre-Design and Evaluation

WP8 : Dissemination

WP9 : Project Management

WP10 : Technical Coordination

Key contributions and experimentations

Birmingham will deliver a strategic element of the project in terms of leading technical innovation in:

  • The development of functional specifications of traffic management system with traffic predictive information
  • The development of interface specifications of traffic prediction information with traffic control centres
  • The development of deployment guidelines for traffic management based on the use of predictive information based on the delivery of network management measures and user information

This approach will be demonstrated in:

  • The integration of 1 hour predictive data into traffic management tools
  • The implementation and experimentation of a standardised urban multimodal dataset
  • Integration of the Multimodal Urban Navigator to the standardised urban multimodal dataset
  • Implementation and experimentation of the Multimodal Urban Navigator