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"The Games Family Demand Model" by Paul Cameron, AECOM: Edinburgh meeting of 12 March 2013

The Games Family Demand Model is a GIS-based tool identifying volumes and patterns in the movement of the accredited personnel who comprise the "Games Family" at major sporting events. At next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow the Games Family will have 15,000 members, 6,500 of them athletes from 71 nations who will compete at 20 venues across 15 sites, making demands on the transport network for which there is a commitment that 90% of the Family will be within 20 minutes of their next venue.

People movement modules from different client groups are converted into vehicle movement modules, and the emerging vehicle flow data is assigned to the Games Route Network using a GIS spatial tool which outputs link and junction flow data. The model needs to be told when and where events are taking place: venues are constrained by capacity and ticketing, and it will send people to them only where there is somewhere to sit. Calibrated in Beijing and developed for London 2012, it has been tweaked with the incorporation of the Games Route Network for Glasgow so as to see how travel predictions might load the existing network and thus highlight where traffic reduction or other mitigation measures are required.

The model's applications include venue planning (arrival profiles, parking requirements and client wait-times) and fleet procurement (sensitivity-testing and budget/cost planning). There will be very little parking at each venue, and the Games Route Network will be prioritised for the Games Family with lanes for their exclusive use. Output tools cover demand forecasting, venue access and traffic counts, but as a demand model it takes no account of background traffic in predicting what might be the busiest days and times of day, nor are spectators part of the reckoning.

Different members of the Games Family will have varying requirements, e.g. some athletes will require to be weighed in before their event, while sponsors might expect to stroll in just ten minutes before it starts. Athletes typically travel on up to six journeys a day for training, competition and recreation, but traffic levels at London 2012 were 36% lower than forecast because the Games Family did not make the expected use of the Games Route Network (perhaps because it had not been correctly loaded into sat-navs) and journalists took many fewer trips than predicted, preferring to stay in their media-hubs.

The Scottish Region thanks AECOM for hosting the presentation.

Report by John Yellowlees.


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