Client requirements

VLC has had extensive involvement in strategic transport modelling for the East West Link Toll Road in Melbourne. VLC was engaged to use the Zenith model in options assessments and business case submissions, as well as to support the engineering scoping, economic evaluation, relevant planning and environmental approvals. The project involved a variety of modelling tasks, including re-calibration and validation.

VLC was engaged by the Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) to produce traffic forecasts for the proposed East West Road to the north of the Melbourne CBD connecting the existing western terminus of the Eastern Freeway with CityLink.  

VLC’s commission from LMA included the forecasting of EWL traffic demand for various configurations of the proposed road. It also included producing forecasts should the road be untolled, and how demand is likely to change under a variety of tolling strategies.


Delivered outcome

The travel demand forecasting was undertaken using VLC’s proprietary travel demand forecasting model – Zenith. Provision of model outputs to facilitate economic evaluation was another key modelling task. VLC upgraded previous standard consumer surplus evaluation data to include benefits such as agglomeration, labour supply, reliability, resource cost corrections and toll road revenue.

As part of the study VLC:

  • Analysed the existing travel demand characteristics of the corridor through which EWL was planned
  • Assessed the sensibility of the Zenith model’s forecasts for EWL should the proposed road be untolled
  • Performed a ‘sensibility check’ on the model’s forecasts of demand when tolled, using observed traffic demand data for existing toll roads in Australia.

Work for this project, as well as the Zenith model, was subjected to a rigorous peer review process lead by international toll road expert Robert Bain of RBConsult.