Transport and Ethics

Transport and Ethics

Ethics and the Evaluation of Transport Policies and Projects

Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Bert van Wee

This insightful book discusses the use of Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA) for transport policy options from an ethical perspective. Each detailed chapter deals with issues such as: the use and ethical aspects of CBA in transport, social exclusion, the environment and long term sustainability, safety, ethics of research and modelling transport. It summarizes ethics-based critics on CBA and discusses their relevance for accessibility, the environment and safety. In addition it explores ethical dilemmas of doing CBAs and CBA related research. The book concludes with possible avenues for further exploring the links between transport and ethics.

Chapter 5: Long-term Sustainability and Transport Evaluation

Bert van Wee

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, transport, valuation, environment, environmental economics, transport, valuation, urban and regional studies, transport


5.1 INTRODUCTION Questions related to long-term sustainability and transport evaluation include: ● ● ● ● ● Is discounting OK in the case of CO2 or effects on the natural environment? How to compare future generations with the current generation? How important is the current infrastructure for future generations? How to deal with the possible depletion of fossil fuels in the ex ante evaluation of transport policy options? Will the free market result in an optimum allocation of CO2 emissions in the case of a cap-and-trade system? How useful is the resulting market price for the ex ante evaluation of transport policy options? Societies benefit heavily from transport. The transport system allows people to carry out activities at spatially separated locations, and allows goods to be transported. The flipside of the coin is that transport causes negative impacts on society, with safety, environmental impacts and congestion being the most dominant effects. Negative impacts on the environment include CO2 emissions that are a likely cause of climate change, and emissions of Particulate Matter (PM) – CO, VOC and NOx – resulting in local air pollution. Road vehicles, trains and aircraft produce noise resulting in noise nuisance. Apart from emissions related impacts, infrastructure can often be a barrier for man and animals (see below). In addition, the presence of driving and parked vehicles negatively influences liveability, even when they are not using energy or emitting pollutants and noise – for example, where children cannot play on the street or travel to school independently. Furthermore, at the moment, the transport sector highly...

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