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Predict or prophesy? Issues and trade-offs in modelling long-term transport infrastructure demand and capacity

Predict or prophesy? Issues and trade-offs in modelling long-term transport infrastructure demand and capacity
Predict or prophesy? Issues and trade-offs in modelling long-term transport infrastructure demand and capacity
Effective planning and investment for transport infrastructure systems is seen as key for economic development in both advanced and developing economies. However, planning for such strategic transport investments is fraught with difficulties, due to their high costs and public profile, long asset life, and uncertainty over future transport demand patterns and technologies. Given that only a finite quantity of funding is available for transport investment, it is important that this funding is spent in the right places and on the right schemes in order to ensure that the best return is obtained from limited public resources. There is therefore a need for a model which is capable of assessing network demand and performance in a wide range of possible futures, in order that robust decisions can be taken with regard to which schemes are given the go ahead. This paper discusses a range of issues associated with the development of a strategic national transport model for Great Britain as part of a wider interdependent infrastructure systems modelling framework (NISMOD). It considers the compromises which have to be made in order to develop a model which can examine a wide range of potential futures in a reasonable timescale, outlines how such futures can be captured in the model, and finally assesses the continued role of planners and policy-makers in determining both how the model is applied and how the future of transport systems might play out in reality. While the paper is based on a case study example from Great Britain, most of the general issues discussed are of relevance to transport and infrastructure policy making in almost any national or international context.
Strategic modelling; long-term planning; policy making; uncertainty; scenarios
0967-070X
165-173
Blainey, Simon
ee6198e5-1f89-4f9b-be8e-52cc10e8b3bb
Preston, John
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b
Blainey, Simon
ee6198e5-1f89-4f9b-be8e-52cc10e8b3bb
Preston, John
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b

Blainey, Simon and Preston, John (2019) Predict or prophesy? Issues and trade-offs in modelling long-term transport infrastructure demand and capacity. Transport Policy, 74, 165-173. (doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2018.12.001).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Effective planning and investment for transport infrastructure systems is seen as key for economic development in both advanced and developing economies. However, planning for such strategic transport investments is fraught with difficulties, due to their high costs and public profile, long asset life, and uncertainty over future transport demand patterns and technologies. Given that only a finite quantity of funding is available for transport investment, it is important that this funding is spent in the right places and on the right schemes in order to ensure that the best return is obtained from limited public resources. There is therefore a need for a model which is capable of assessing network demand and performance in a wide range of possible futures, in order that robust decisions can be taken with regard to which schemes are given the go ahead. This paper discusses a range of issues associated with the development of a strategic national transport model for Great Britain as part of a wider interdependent infrastructure systems modelling framework (NISMOD). It considers the compromises which have to be made in order to develop a model which can examine a wide range of potential futures in a reasonable timescale, outlines how such futures can be captured in the model, and finally assesses the continued role of planners and policy-makers in determining both how the model is applied and how the future of transport systems might play out in reality. While the paper is based on a case study example from Great Britain, most of the general issues discussed are of relevance to transport and infrastructure policy making in almost any national or international context.

Text
Predict or Prophesy Transport Policy Anonymised Revised - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 21 December 2019.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 5 December 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 December 2018
Published date: February 2019
Keywords: Strategic modelling; long-term planning; policy making; uncertainty; scenarios

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426830
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426830
ISSN: 0967-070X
PURE UUID: 1273d124-1e11-4a4e-84c3-5ddd434de547
ORCID for Simon Blainey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4249-8110
ORCID for John Preston: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6866-049X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Dec 2018 12:20
Last modified: 23 Mar 2019 01:34

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