Vulnerability and redundancy in transport

Transport professionals are having a rethink about vulnerability and its associated concepts of redundancy, resilience, robustness and adaptation. These relate to whether systems are well-placed to avoid stress in emergencies and how well they recover. The concept applies to current global concerns and the continuum between global and local is explained with examples from the United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme. One strand of professional work on vulnerability relates to risk assessment and emergency planning. Regarding security, most transport operators function at different levels of risk alerts, based on a pre-defined set of security practices. The author refers to a piece of research known as Braess's paradox which demonstrates how spare capacity can sometimes make things worse. Redundancy is at the heart of the explanation of why gridlock is much rarer than it logically ought to be. However in reality, travel choices are much more adaptable, even at short notice. The combination of adaptable behaviour and spare capacity in the system is the explanation of why dire media forecasts of networks which cannot cope are so often exaggerated. However there is a limit and the phrase 'making maximum use of existing capacity' takes transport professionals ever closer to it.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 19
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01141133
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 30 2009 9:05AM