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10 August 2004

Mott MacDonald team grows for 2005 Local Transport Plan PRISM applications

The new PRISM West Midlands Strategic Transport Model has entered into a new phase, with a multi-consultancy team set up to work on applications of the model in the period leading up to the submission of the 2005 Local Transport Plan. PRISM (Policy Responsive Integrated Strategy Model) has been developed for the past two years by Mott MacDonald and RAND Europe jointly on behalf of the seven West Midlands Metropolitan District Authorities, the Highways Agency and CENTRO. The new joint application team of ten permanent staff is based in Mott MacDonald’s Birmingham office and also includes consultants Atkins and FaberMaunsell.

Tom van Vuren, Mott MacDonald’s director responsible for the development and application of PRISM says, “It was intended from the outset that PRISM would have a wide ownership and be universally applied for most projects in the West Midlands, with access to the model for those parties not directly involved in PRISM’s development.” Tom goes on to say that, “by setting up a broader application team with other consultants, it is possible to spread the knowledge of the disaggregate modelling techniques on which PRISM is built and also increase the local skills in the application of VISUM, the transport modelling software on which PRISM is based. With the collaborative approach of multiple teams, we see the PRISM team evolving into a national centre of excellence in modelling and a blueprint for approaching strategic modelling elsewhere in the country.”

PRISM is an advanced disaggregate demand model consisting of detailed highway and public transport network models. All aspects of individual travel behaviour are covered: how often, by which mode and route and at what time of day. Car and travel pass ownership are also modelled. At the moment projects that are lined up include the Black Country Study, the Coventry/Solihull/Warwickshire Partnership Transportation and Regeneration Study, a re-evaluation of the West Midlands Area Multi-modal Study package and the West Midlands 2005 Local Transport Programme.
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