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Research project

Routable Active Travel Infrastructure Networks Phases 1 and 2

Project overview

Active travel has received increased investment and interest in many countries both due to COVID-19 and to policies which promote a shift to active travel (AT) to support a wide range of public and individual goods. However, the majority of investment so far has been focused on physical infrastructure to facilitate active travel, rather than on the data infrastructure which can help enable people to shift trips to active modes. There is no comprehensive geospatial representation of the active travel infrastructure network in the UK, and current fragmented data and data models and a lack of data standards pose a barrier to the development of the applications which are needed to support planners, users and journey planning. There is therefore a need for a more integrated, better-connected and more richly attributed active travel geospatial network model, linked to comprehensive datasets on the location and characteristics of active travel infrastructure. Phases 1 and 2 of the Ordnance-Survey funded RATIN project aim to make a significant contribution towards meeting this need. Phase 1 undertook a comprehensive review of datasets and data models for active travel infrastructure, and developed a high level data framework for geospatial active travel infrastructure networks. Work in Phase 2 has then started to develop methods to populate this framework for a case study area in England, building on the existing Ordnance Survey Mastermap transport networks and the NGD Street Scene dataset. There has been a particular focus on three strands of work. The first involves using crowd-sourced data from OS Maps providing GPS traces of actual active travel trips to fill gaps in the base OS path network. The second involves extending the Mastermap data model to allow the representation of differential pavement presence characteristics and crossing points on individual road links. The third strand of work further enhances this pavement presence information by calculating detailed information on pavement widths derived from OS Mastermap topography data. The outputs from the data processing are integrated and presented in a demonstrator routing tool, allowing the benefits of the enhanced datasets to be easily demonstrated to key stakeholders.


Lead researcher

Professor Simon Blainey PhD, FRGS, FHEA, MCIHT, CMILT

Professor of Sustainable Transport

Research interests

  • Rail demand and operations modelling
  • GIS and transport
  • Transport decision support systems
Other researchers

Dr Marcus Young PhD, FRGS

Research Fellow in GIS Transp Eng Data

Research interests

  • Application of GIS methods and techniques to research relating to public transport and active travel.
  • Development of open source tools for transport planning applications.
  • Rail demand modelling and appraisal with a focus on developing improved aggregate models to forecast demand for new railway stations.

Professor Chris Hill

Professorial Fellow-Enterprise

Mr Chris Emberson

Senior Enterprise Fellow

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

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