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Government outlines reforms to appraising transport schemes

Words: Huw Morris

More weight to the impact of schemes on the wider economy is being proposed by the Department for Transport.

The reforms by the Department for Transport (DfT) will consider the impact of transport improvements on the wider economy beyond the businesses and passengers directly affected by the scheme.

This includes productivity gains from improvements in how well businesses are connected to each other as well as potential employees.

The appraisal will also cover structural changes as businesses and households relocate.

Other reforms to the DfT’s appraisal and modelling guidance, known as WebTAG, include:

  • How regeneration is integrated into the assessment of wider economic impacts

  • New modelling that explains “dynamic economic impacts” and land-use change

  • Scheme promoters will be required to set out a “context specific economic narrative” that shows the impact of transport investment on the economy

  • Clarifying the relationship between benefits to welfare and economic measurements such as GDP and GVA

The proposals, which are out for consultation, aim to “overcome the challenges of quantifying and valuing the impact of transport investment on the economy”.

Understanding and valuing impacts of transport investment is available here (pdf).

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