Wood has been appointed by the City of York Council as a lead partner in delivering its Smarter Travel Evolution Programme (STEP), the first transport modelling and connected vehicle project of its kind in the UK which is supported by the Government's National Productivity Investment Fund.

Authorities in the historic city of York are aiming to reduce congestion, emissions and journey times in the city, as well as improve reliability of the network, create better public spaces and enhance safety.

Wood will support the city’s mission by designing and deploying a live model of York’s traffic network, in a dynamic digital representation fed from a wide range of real-time data sources. As well as providing real-time digital traffic optimisaton through the live model, a strategic model will inform long-term decision making including the local transport plan, development planning decisions and business case applications.

In addition, Wood will provide training and maintenance for the predictive models over the duration of the seven-year contract.

Joe Sczurko, CEO of Wood’s Technical Consulting Solutions business, said: “This state-of-the-art programme will help the City of York provide a transport plan which enhances its citizens’ lives and helps protect the environment.

“This appointment demonstrates Wood’s technical expertise in sustainable infrastructure and ability to partner with our customers to deliver innovative digital solutions to create more future-ready, urban environments."

Wood will work in partnership with Relative Gap, independent strategic transport modelling consultants and PTV Group, multimodal transport planning software experts, to deploy their predictive modelling software for the first time on a city-wide scale in the UK, testing strategies in a virtual environment and running multiple scenarios simultaneously.

The real-time model will also provide predictions of traffic responses to planned and unplanned events using live and historical traffic data, ensuring the best possible strategy can be implemented quickly and efficiently.

James Gilchrist, Assistant Director for Transport, Highways and Environment, City of York Council added: “Through the Smart Transport Evolution Programme we are pioneering new, intelligent systems to build upon the city’s great connectivity and history of transport innovation.

“These new strategic and real-time models will enhance York’s long-term plan for transport provision and provide more informed, robust business cases for the implementation of future projects, in compliance with transport analysis guidance.

“Cutting-edge real-time technology will be able to conduct traffic predictions up to sixty minutes into the future. This insight will facilitate smarter transport decision making, optimised traffic signal plans and better travel advice for road users across the historic city.

“We are excited to begin working collaboratively with Wood and PTV to deliver this ambitious project.”

PTV UK Director Devrim Kara: “We are delighted that City of York Council is investing in strategic modelling with our trusted software PTV Visum, and predictive capability with our proven software PTV Optima. We look forward to working with the Wood project team on this exciting and innovative project for the City of York.”