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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: SE1M35
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: THORNE AM Mr (C, C & E Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Short intensive course (June/July)
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)


Coursework – three assignments




Qualifying Condition(s) 


An overall mark of 50% is required to pass the module.


Module Overview
Module Aims
To enable students to develop and demonstrate:
  • A sound knowledge of Highway links – classification, alignment.


  • Understanding of the main principles in design and operation of interchanges.


  • An appreciation of the fundamental principles of traffic control in urban areas.


  • An understanding of the methods, techniques, and software solutions available to facilitate and implement urban traffic control.
  • Knowledge of the principles, strengths and weaknesses of micro-simulation.
Learning Outcomes
Intended learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of the module, students should be able to: 
  • Compare and comment on the various systems of classification of highways.


  • Explain the role of the Highways Agency and local highway authorities.


  • Propose and justify the alignment for a new highway link.


  • Explain the requirements of users and operators for various transport modes.


  • Evaluate the operation of an existing modal interchange and sketch an alternative layout.


  • Demonstrate understanding of the principles of traffic signal control (fixed time and traffic responsive systems) and the fundamentals of urban traffic control design.


  • Optimise the operation of an isolated signalised junction and of co-ordinated traffic signals using an appropriate software packages.


  • Evaluate the appropriateness of micro-simulation for a particular situation.
  • Identify survey requirements for a micro-simulation model and undertake simple junction assessments.
Module Content
  • Highway links – classification, alignment


  • Modal interchange design


  • Urban traffic control – theory


  • Urban traffic control - software
  • Micro simulation
Methods of Teaching/Learning

15 hrs lectures, 15 hrs computer modelling/workshop, 60 hrs assignments, 60 hrs independent learning


Total student learning time 150 hours

Selected Texts/Journals

Transport in the Urban Environment. IHT 1997.  (ISBN 09029 33213)


Salter EJ, Highway design and construction 2nd ed, Macmillan Education, 1988.


Mannering FL and Kilareski WP, Principles of Highway Engineering and Traffic Analysis 2nd ed, Wiley, 1998.


Salter RJ, Highway Traffic Analysis and Design, 2nd ed.   (ISBN 03334 83391)


Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Volume 8 TA 16/81 General Principles of Control by Traffic Signals


Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Volume 8 TA 15/81 Pedestrian facilities at Traffic Signal Installations


Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Volume 8 TD 50/04 The Geometric Layout of Signal Controlled Junctions and Signalised RoundaboutsAll DMRB documents can be found at


Hunt PB, Robertson DI, Bretherton RD and Winton RI. “SCOOT – A traffic responsive method of co-ordinating signals”. TRL Laboratory Report 1014 (1981)


The “SCOOT” Urban Traffic Control System. DfT Traffic Advisory Leaflet 07/99


Bus Priority in SCOOT. DfT Traffic Advisory Leaflet 8/00


The “MOVA” Signal Control System. DfT Traffic Advisory Leaflet 3/97


OSCADY 5 User Guide (Application Guide 40) by James C Binning and Laura Meikle. (TRL)


TRANSYT 12 User Guide (Application Guide 48 Issue B) by James C Binning, Mark Crabtree, and Graham Burtenshaw (TRL)


MOVA Traffic Control Manual (Application Guide 44), downloadable from


May AD, Traffic Flow Theory, Prentice Hall, 1990.


SR165, Traffic Flow Theory: a State of the Art Review, Special Report 165, Transportation Research Board.


Review of Microsimulation Models, SMARTEST Report (2000)


Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume III: Guidelines for Applying Traffic Microsimulation Modelling Software.

US Federal Highway
Administration, Report No FHWA-HRT-04-040, June 2004


Interim Advice Note (IAN 36/01) The Use and Application of Micro-simulation Traffic Models. Highways Agency, June 2001.


Micro-simulation Modelling Guidance Note for TfL, Transport for London 2003.

Last Updated

06 February 2009