The future resilience of the UK Trunk Road network

Obazele, Isimenmen (2020). The future resilience of the UK Trunk Road network. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates the future resilience of the UK Trunk Road network, with the primary aim of determining the future impact of precipitation on the traffic flux. In order to make future Trunk Road adaptation strategies to address future climatic changes it is important to understand the resilience of the Trunk Road network to changing weather conditions and so this thesis significantly addresses this issue by investigating the impact of future weather conditions within the 2050s on traffic flux. The result and proposed methodology of this thesis could be used alongside further impact assessments where other factors such as changes in accident rate may be included to produce clearer impact projections. This thesis demonstrates that without taking into consideration changes in the drivers’ behaviours which may result in changes in accident rate, future weather conditions are expected to improve traffic fluxes on the Trunk Road network during the summer and winter periods compared to the baseline weather condition (i.e. an observed or simulated weather data from 1961-1990). While most of the thesis is based on the conventional development system for the UK (the CDSU), it also investigates the impact of future weather conditions on traffic flux under other socio-economic scenarios. The investigation revealed that a more consumeristic scenario would generally experience higher rises in traffic capacity compared to the CDSU while a more community-oriented scenario would experience less rises in traffic capacity. In a paper by KPMG (2015) it was indicated that by 2030 connected and autonomous vehicles would be trending on the UK roads hence an investigation into the potential impact of autonomous vehicles on future traffic flux was carried out in this thesis. The investigation showed that the presence of autonomous vehicles would generally result in rises in the traffic flux and these rises will increase with increasing percentage composition of autonomous vehicles in the traffic stream. The sensitivity of the traffic stream to weather conditions also dropped with increases in the number of autonomous vehicles in the stream. The Northern and Southern parts of the UK have distinct weather conditions, with the Northern areas being generally wetter and cooler compared to the south. This resulted in both areas experiencing different weather conditions impact on traffic flux as shown in the result of investigating the effect of geographical location on future traffic performance. It was observed that during summer periods southern England appeared to observe higher rises in traffic flux compared to Northern Scotland while during the winter period Northern Scotland showed higher rises in traffic flux compared to Southern England.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)


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