Smarter freight traffic in Utrecht
In September, trials with smart traffic lights to facilitate freight traffic, will start on the Noordelijke Randweg in Utrecht. This means that trucks need to stop and pull up less often. This results in less CO2 emissions and noise disturbance and improves the flow of traffic. Freight traffic benefits from a shorter travel time and fuel savings.
Freight traffic in the city is necessary for supplying shops, the hotel and catering industry and other businesses. But unfortunately freight traffic is a source of noise disturbance, the emission of exhaust gases causes poor air quality and gives an overwhelming bustle in the city. Logically, the Municipal Policy of Utrecht is aimed at minimizing unnecessary freight traffic in and through the city.
Making routes transparent
One measure taken by the community of Utrecht is the setting of restricted delivery times - times when companies may be supplied by freight traffic. Within the framework of the Goedopweg project Slimmer Vrachtverkeer in Utrecht, they have also entered into collaborations with market parties such as Ahold Delhaize Transport and St van den Brink to map freight routes and analyze whether these can be planned and routed smarter. Together with Ahold Delhaize Transport Ahold, data from driving movements and logistic bottlenecks were collected and shared. Simacan gave insight in the routes via equipment in the trucks.
Straight through the city or around it?
The project showed that the freight routes from Albert Heijn branches in the north of the city sometimes run straight through the city center. Despite the fact that these routes are legally permitted, the routes are undesirable from the viewpoint of viability and traffic circulation for the city of Utrecht. On the one hand this seems habitual behavior of the drivers, on the other hand the desired route may not be known to drivers or give a longer travel time. A solution is to make the desired route known via the driver’s navigation and to 'reward' them with a better traffic flow at intersections with traffic lights on the desired route.
Talking Traffic offers new possibilities
The Talking Traffic Partnership provides a nationwide foundation to provide service providers with real-time information from road authorities about amongst others road works, current speed limits and parking. The Partnership also develops an application that allows navigation systems to communicate with intelligent traffic lights. The navigation system can for example receive information about the speed at which the driver can reach the green light.
With the real-time information exchange between navigation systems and traffic lights, road users can also 'report' that they are on their way to a traffic light. The traffic light recognizes the type of vehicle and can decide on the basis of 'rules' that the traffic light stays green for a little longer. For example because it is a vehicle that has priority on this route on the basis of policy views of the municipality.
In the pilot 'Smarter freight traffic in Utrecht' by Goedopweg, this approach is being tested in September with the freight traffic from St van den Brink to and from the Albert Heijn stores in the north of Utrecht. This form of prioritization of freight traffic can yield a win-win situation for the municipality of Utrecht and the shipper. The profit for the municipality of Utrecht is that there is less freight traffic through the city center. The charterer not only shortens the travel time, but also saves fuel by reducing the amount of braking and pulling up at traffic lights.
Cooperation is sought with other regions that carry out similar pilots to prevent duplication and to learn from success and failure factors.
Goedopweg: Arjan Bezemer
Arjan Bezemer Paul Swaak
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