Despite significant work to improve and refine the way road schemes are appraised and evaluated, they seem to still be having a charmed life in terms of winning approval and funding.
Important and credible fuzzy projections by the Department for Transport - but still fuzzy thinking about Stonehenge
Precision about future transport and travel patterns is impossible, though targets for meeting climate change and net zero commitments must be treated as achievable and necessary.
We may have reached a point where the different key criteria that have driven transport scheme justification are becoming mutually reinforcing.
Unresolved tensions in the appraisal of road projects are undermining decarbonisation and value for money
There are many weak, incorrect or outdated assumptions in the appraisals that were carried out of currently programmed road schemes.
Phil Goodwin points to new data that exposes the ‘absurdities’ of treating the carbon impact of the road programme, and its individual schemes, as trivially insignificant.
Updated values would reveal the true cost of building a tunnel under Stonehenge, says Phil Goodwin. He urges National Highways to think again.
‘Baseline’ forecasts should be urgently revised so they reflect the current trajectory of global warming.
Phil Goodwin and Jillian Anable discuss the role of transport decarbonisation in addressing the impacts of climate change.
The line on a graph called ‘business as usual’ has simply become meaningless. Yes, we plead, let us feel we can lead normal lives, but for planning and forecasting we cannot credibly translate that into a tenable description of normality.
All discussion of strategic and local transport planning at present is seen through the lens of the urgent imperatives of the pandemic, which have changed the boundaries of policy in contradictory directions.
Some of the worst mistakes in transport investment have been supported by huge volumes of forecasts, surveys and studies, confidently published with little recognition of their inconsistencies and errors.