- Elgar original reference
Edited by Robert J. Brent
Chapter 5: Cost–Benefit Analysis in Transport: Recent Developments in Rail Project Appraisal in Britain
5 Cost–benefit analysis in transport: recent developments in rail project appraisal in Britain Chris Nash and James Laird 1 Introduction The transport sector was one of the first in which the technique of social cost–benefit analysis became widely applied. In Britain, following the appraisals of the M1 motorway (Coburn et al. 1960) and of the Victoria line underground railway in London (Foster and Beesley, 1963), social cost–benefit analysis rapidly established itself as a routine part of the appraisal of government spending on transport. While one of the first applications of cost–benefit analysis in transport was to an underground railway, its application as a technique to rail investment was slower to develop, because although the rail system in Britain, and indeed in most countries outside North America, was publicly owned, it was run as a separate commercial organisation. Paradoxically it has been with the privatisation of the railway in Britain that cost–benefit analysis has become the norm. The reason is that passenger services in Britain are run under franchises, with service levels specified by government, creating a need to appraise alternative service levels both at the franchise specification stage and in considering alternative bids. Moreover, the government directly or indirectly finances rail infrastructure, creating a need to appraise alternatives in terms of quality, capacity and cost. There would, however, be no need for cost–benefit analysis (except perhaps to consider the distributive implications of schemes) if all goods in an economy, including transport, were produced under...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.