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Case Study

How Immense is helping England’s Economic Heartland to predict the future

England’s Economic Heartland is tasked with developing a 30-year transport strategy, that maximises the economic potential of the Oxford-Cambridge corridor. But for that, they require an innovative way to plan for what the future may hold.

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At a glance

Key benefits:

  • Regional coordination of infrastructure and mobility system development
  • Data-driven insights and decisions about future mobility
  • In-house insights, reducing external spend

Key system features:

  • Digital replication of the region's transportation system
  • Models planned housing development and job creation until 2040
  • Simulates the impacts on transportation, economy, energy and environment
  • Assesses novel Mobility-as-a-Service schemes with shareability analysis

The background

England’s Economic Heartland stretches from Swindon to Cambridgeshire and Northampton to Hertfordshire.
The region already boasts a 5.1 million population and 280,000 business community and is predicted to triple in size. However, these figures come at a cost. Increased pressure on transport and infrastructure networks means that many services are already operating at close to capacity - affecting business productivity, making travel challenging and threatening the region’s future growth. To help, a collaborative partnership of councils and local enterprises has been created and tasked with developing a Transport Strategy, that guides investment and priorities up to 2050.

The mission

With the draft Transport Strategy due in Summer 2020, England’s Economic Heartland required a data-driven insight into the future mobility of the region, something that Immense is perfectly placed to help with.

Specifically, England’s Economic Heartland wanted to understand:

  • The impact of housing development on transport and infrastructure
  • The impact of job development on transport and infrastructure
  • How future transport decisions could affect the environment
  • How they could best build a sustainable, connected community

The solution

The Immense team worked with England’s Economic Heartland to create a digital replication of the regional mobility system.

This was created using different data sources to create a digital representation of traveller activities and real-world movement patterns. England’s Economic Heartland can use this digital replication to run simulations that tested different scenarios of housing development, job creation and shared mobility initiatives.

The results

With region wide access to the decision support system, England’s Economic Heartland can collaboratively design, test and analyse the impact of future transportation schemes on the community, economy and environment.
In the words of Martin Tugwell, director of England’s Economic Heartland and President of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, Immense has transformed:

Strategic planning

“Immense helps us to explore the implications of different scenarios and develop route maps that will deliver our strategic outcomes.”

User experience

“The platform’s capability consistently impresses our partners, while its ease of use encourages them to use it to support their own activity.”

Evidence gathering

“With the emphasis on focusing on user-centred transport services, this agent-based model is a core component of the evidence base underpinning our regional transport strategy.”

Innovation

“The Immense platform is just the sort of innovation we require to do things differently.”

The future

England’s Economic Heartland will be using Immense to produce the draft Transport Strategy for consultation in Summer 2020, and then to realise the economic potential of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and surrounding areas to 2050 and beyond.

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