Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Transport Economics and Policy

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Transport Economics and Policy

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Chris Nash

Transport economics and policy analysis is a field which has seen major advances in methodology in recent decades, covering issues such as estimating cost functions, modelling of demand, dealing with externalities, examining industry ownership and structure, pricing and investment decisions and measuring economic impacts. This Handbook contains reviews of all these methods, with an emphasis on practical applications, commissioned from an international cast of experts in the field.

Chapter 9: Demand for road transport

John Bates

Subjects: economics and finance, transport, environment, research methods in the environment, transport, research methods, research methods in economics, research methods in the environment, urban and regional studies, research methods in urban and regional studies, transport

Extract

This chapter deals with the demand for personal transport by road – that is, where the motivation for the road journey is to transport persons rather than freight. Freight transport is dealt with in a separate chapter (Chapter 11). In addition, the demand for public transport – some of which may be by road – is dealt with in a separate chapter (Chapter 10). Hence we are here essentially concerned with travel by private car (though other types of vehicle – vans, motorcycles – are also of relevance). As a result of this focus on car travel, it is clear that a primary requirement for investigating, analysing and forecasting the demand for road transport is a corresponding analysis of car ownership. The first section of the chapter thus discusses this topic in some depth. Given the level of car ownership, we then turn our attention to the use made of the vehicle – primarily in terms of kilometres travelled. Finally, we reflect on how this travel is distributed spatially: the pattern of use by type of road, and by type of area. Clearly this depends crucially on the level and condition of highway infrastructure, where variation between countries is much greater. In addition, because of the impact of congestion, we need to differentiate demand by time of day (and possibly weekday versus weekend).

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