Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Economics and Appraisal

What brings us together?

We have a common interest in understanding the economics of transport from a demand and supply side perspective; how this impacts on individual travel decisions; and assessing the overall business case for transport investment and wider interventions.


Example topics (based on projects)

  • UK national value of time study – Department for Transport
  • Crossrail Evaluation – Transport for London
  • Highways Benchmarking – Highways Agency
  • Rail Demand Forecasting – Department for Transport
  • Gatwick Airport Peer Review – Airports Commission
  • SUSTRAIL (the SUSTainble freight RAILway) – European Commission
  • Wider Economic Impacts of Bus Usage – Greener Journeys


The group is part of the CQC (Cost, Quality, Customer) Efficiency Network initiative which is based at ITS and a joint venture between the National Highways & Transport Network (NHT) and the University of Leeds. The CQC Efficiency Network offers local authorities throughout Britain the ability to quantify the scope for cost savings in the delivery of highway services and to identify better practises.


  • Undergraduate (CIVE, Geography and LUBS)
  • MSc Transport Economics (ITS)
  • CPD – Transport Investment Appraisal (TIA), Rail Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook (PDFH), Transport Infrastructure and Economic Performance (TIEP)

Example PhD topics

  • Strategic roads efficiency benchmarking
  • Impact of rail regulation on efficiency
  • Modelling efficiency in healthcare
  • Econometric modelling of rail efficiency
  • Understanding the cost and value of rail reliability
  • Assessing the impacts of walking and cycling orientated policies on cities’ economic competitiveness
  • Mode and shipment size choice models on data for individual shipments
  • Demand for electric and hybrid cars – modelling vehicle replacement and type choice

Read more on PhD topics


For further information about the work of the Economics & Appraisal research group, please contact Dr Jeremy Shires or Dr John Nellthorp.