Modelling heterogeneous traffic flow lacking in lane discipline is one of the emerging research areas in the past few years. The two main challenges in modelling are: capturing the effect of varying size of vehicles, and the lack in lane discipline, both of which together lead to the ‘gap filling’ behaviour of vehicles. The same section length of the road can be occupied by different types of vehicles at the same time, and the conventional measure of traffic concentration, density (vehicles per lane per unit length), is not a good measure for heterogeneous traffic modelling. First aim of this paper is to have a parsimonious model of heterogeneous traffic that can capture the unique phenomena of gap filling. Second aim is to emphasize the suitability of higher-order models for modelling heterogeneous traffic. Third, the paper aims to suggest area occupancy as concentration measure of heterogeneous traffic lacking in lane discipline. The above mentioned two main challenges of heterogeneous traffic flow are addressed by extending an existing second-order continuum model of traffic flow, using area occupancy for traffic concentration instead of density. The extended model is calibrated and validated with field data from an arterial road in Chennai city, and the results are compared with those from few existing generalized multi-class models. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.