The impact of precipitation on speed-flow relationships along a UK motorway corridor

Elizabeth Hooper, Lee Chapman*, Andrew Quinn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Although the fundamental traffic diagram provides the characteristics of a typical road traffic speed-flow relationship, little consideration has been given to the impact of adverse weather conditions on the relationship and the subsequent impact on local speed-flow. For the first time, this study uses precipitation radar along with a state-of-the art traffic information system to ascertain the relationship between speed-flow and precipitation on a UK transport corridor at the local (junction to junction) scale. It is evident that precipitation causes a significant reduction in speed and maximum flow on many links of the corridor as well as a downward reduction in the overall speed-flow relationship. With increased instances of heavy precipitation predicted in the UK as a result of climate change, these findings highlight the subsequent impact on journey travel times and associated economic costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303–316
Number of pages14
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sept 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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