Civil engineering students at Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh Campus are working with residents and community groups to help solve traffic congestion in nearby Currie, Balerno and Juniper Green.
The fifth-year students defined their own project, co-created solutions and recently hosted a public meeting attended by over 100 people, including MSPs, councillors and planners from the City of Edinburgh Council.
The students delivered their initial report at the open meeting in Gibson Craig Hall last week, alongside Professor Guy Walker from the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society.
The traffic problems were grouped into six main concerns, and the audience of local people was asked to prioritise areas and suggest mitigation measures.
Over the next few months the students will investigate and test the most promising ideas chosen by the local community, and follow up meetings are already planned between the university and the campus’s three local community councils.
Professor Guy Walker said: “As well as the benefits for the local communities, the students gained a vivid and powerful learning experience, one that gives them outstanding examples to relate in job interviews: two of the students have already secured jobs as graduate transportation engineers.”
With the help of leading traffic data services company Tracsis, and using microsimulation software provided by Systra, Currie, Balerno and Juniper Green now have a 'digital twin' to rival those normally created for large cities.
Once the community feedback from the meeting has been analysed, the Heriot-Watt students hope to use the simulation model to test out various scenarios that could become a template for solutions to congestion problems in other locations.
T: 0131 451 3242