A resilient transport network helps the New Zealand Transport Agency to be responsive to unforeseen events and provides people with confidence that they will be able to undertake their journeys in a timely manner throughout New Zealand. Managing resilience involves targeting the risk of anticipated disruption on the network. Investment varies widely across the programme. Some NZTA examples include:
New Zealand's topography, climate and exposure to seismic events mean that there will always be a risk of network disruption. A range of work is already underway to help increase resilience. This includes physical works, such as bridge strengthening and slope stabilisation, and using traffic operation centres to keep people and vehicles moving. Resilience is also about minimising the impact of disruption. Emergency response planning helps ensure that networks `bounce back' as soon as possible following a disruptive event.
Resilience in rural and urban areas tends to take different forms. Disruptive events in towns and cities tend to be caused by technical events such as breakdowns or crashes. While they are often resolved quickly, the impacts can be significant due to the number of users, the lack of spare capacity on congested networks and the inability of alternative routes to cope with additional traffic.
In rural and provincial areas network disruption is more commonly caused by environmental or weather events, such as landslips, flooding, snow and ice such as recent examples in Kaikoura and Wellington. While traffic volumes tend to be lower than in urban areas, a lack of viable alternative routes can cause significant disruption.
The aim of this project is to better quantify the benefits of improving network resilience, enabling more consistent prioritisation of investments using informatiom visualization techniques.
Dr. Craig Anslow
Lecturer in Software Engineering
School of Engineering and Computer Science
Victoria University of Wellington