Development and evaluation of SBLINE, a suite of models for the prediction of pollution concentrations from vehicles in urban areas

A. K. Namdeo, J. J. Colls*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The assessment of air quality impacts from roadways is a major concern to urban planners, developers, health officials and engineers. This paper describes the development of a suite of models, called SBLINE, for prediction of pollution concentrations from vehicles in urban road networks. The first component of the suite is ROADFAC, an emission model for calculating emission rates for a road link with known vehicle fleet structure and operational details. ROADFAC can also calculate modal emission rates, caused by deceleration, idle, acceleration and cruise operational modes, by determining queue length and vehicle delay from traffic volume and signal phasing information. The other components of SBLINE are two dispersion models, called NOTLINE and CPB, for prediction of pollution concentrations contributed by different roadlinks in the network. These models use site geometry, meteorology, and traffic emissions calculated by ROADFAC to predict pollutant concentrations. The contribution from a given link is calculated by using NOTLINE if that link is situated in simple topography, or CPB is run if the link is inside a canyon or a cut-section. Finally, cumulative concentrations at any receptor location are calculated by adding the contributions from all roadlinks. SBLINE can be applied to any urban network of roads, with roadlinks located in either simple topography or street canyons. The program has been evaluated in one region of Leicester in the UK. The region represents a typical urban network of roads with some roads located in plain topography and some inside medium size canyons. Observed values of pollutant concentrations are compared with predictions made from detailed measurements of the vehicle population parameters, meteorology, and local street and building topography. Well-established statistical techniques have been used to show the potential of SBLINE for application to other road networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes


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