Integrated Transport Economics and Appraisal

Our aims are to ensure that decisions on transport policy are made in the light of the best possible advice on their impacts, and to ensure that investment in all modes of transport and their management meets the Department's policy objective to seek good value for money.

Our work includes forecasting growth in road traffic and other transport use, assessing the impacts of transport and other policies on these forecasts, developing and supporting appropriate methods for predicting the transport and economic impacts of road and other transport improvements, and setting the framework for assessing whether transport schemes are value for money.

This work uses results from research into:

  • factors which influence car ownership and use;
  • the response of road users to changes in their journey times and other factors;
  • changes in travel patterns over time;
  • relationships between vehicle speeds, road standards and number of vehicles using the road;
  • valuing time savings, accident risk, and the environmental impacts of changes in traffic flows.

Some of this research is carried out specifically for us, but we also make use of research carried out for others in this country and abroad.

We produce and support standard software for assessing whether road schemes provide value for money, publications providing guidance on how to predict the traffic impacts of road schemes, and traffic growth forecasts (including the National Road Traffic Forecasts).

We are developing a strategic National Transport Model for use by the Department in the assessment of a range of transport policy options. The Model uses data on how people travel according to their circumstances and where they live. It takes into account the choices available and the use people make of the different modes of transport - car, rail, bus, walk and cycle. The Model relates the way people travel to cost, time and convenience of each alternative. It can therefore help to predict how improvements in public transport or in roads influence the modes people use and the impact of these improvements on congestion and emissions.

We provide technical and secretarial support to the independent Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA).

  • Software
  • Publications
  • Data Sources
  • Research Results
  • New Approach to Appraisal (NATA)


For related documents, pages and internet links, see the column on the right.