Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Economic appraisal and evaluation

Challenging and improving economic appraisal and evaluation methods

ITS has been involved in all the major changes in economic appraisal methods that have occurred in the last 20 years in the UK, including that associated with the incorporation of wider economic impacts.

We had a significant role in the review of appraisal methods in England and Wales (NATA Refresh) in particular the method that underpins NATA - the guidance on the methodology for multi-modal studies (GOMMMS). More recently we have reviewed international practice for the Department for Transport and peer reviewed the guidance on wider impacts. Internationally we helped develop the economic appraisal method used by the World Bank, we are co-authors of the HEATCO economic appraisal method developed for the European Community and we have an advisory role in the development of the appraisal methodology for the German Federal Transport Master Plan.

Active in improving particular facets of economic appraisal and evaluation methods, our research sponsored by the National Roads Authority, Ireland inter-linked cost benefit analysis with multi-criteria analysis and incorporated walking and cycling benefits into the economic appraisal of an inter-urban road investment network. We examined the role that ex post evaluation can play in improving ex ante economic analysis for DG REGIO and developed evaluation guidance for sustainable urban mobility in the EU-funded CityMobil and Ch4llenge projects. We continually research areas where economic appraisal needs improvement, looking at methods for incorporation of non-market impacts and uncertainty. This includes valuing impacts on the environment, option values, wider economic impacts, and income effects as well as methods for a synthesis of cost benefit analysis and other methods of assessment.

Recent research outputs:

BATLEY R.P. and J.N. Ibáñez (2013) On the path independence conditions for discrete-continuous demands, Journal of Choice Modelling, 7, pp.13-23

GÜHNEMANN, A., LAIRD, J.J., PEARMAN, A. (2012) Combining cost-benefit and multi-criteria analysis to prioritise a national road infrastructure programme. Transport Policy, Volume 23, Pages 15-24

LAIRD, J.J., M. PAGE and S. SHEN (2013) The value of dedicated cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure on rural roads. Transport Policy 29 pp86-96

LAIRD JJ; GEURS K; NASH CA (2009) Option and non-use values and rail appraisal. Transport Policy, 16, pp.173-182

For further information, please contact: James Laird or Astrid Gühnemann