quantify social value of transport infrastructure in the UK.

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  • HMT Green Book: how to quantify social value of transport infrastructure in the UK. Three different approaches.
Cost Planning, Civil Engineering

HMT Green Book: how to quantify social value of transport infrastructure in the UK. Three different approaches.

APPROACH NUMBER ONE:
The Green Book 2022 is a guide to appraising public sector investment projects in the UK. It guides how to quantify the social value of transport infrastructure projects, including the following:

Time savings: The value of time saved by users of transport infrastructure can be estimated using various methods, such as travel time surveys and willingness-to-pay surveys.
Reduced congestion: The value of reduced congestion can be estimated using various methods, such as traffic flow models and economic models.
Improved air quality: The value of improved air quality can be estimated using various methods, such as health impact assessments and economic models.
Reduced noise pollution: The value of reduced noise pollution can be estimated using various methods, such as noise impact assessments and economic models.
Improved safety: The value of enhanced security can be estimated using various methods, such as accident data and economic models.
Increased accessibility: The value of increased accessibility can be estimated using various methods, such as travel surveys and economic models.
Enhanced social cohesion: The value of enhanced social cohesion can be estimated using various methods, such as surveys and economic models.


The Green Book 2022 also guides how to account for the distributional effects of transport infrastructure projects. This means considering how the benefits and costs of a project are distributed across different groups of people, such as different income groups or different geographical areas.

Finally, the Green Book 2022 guides how to conduct sensitivity analysis. This means testing the robustness of the results of an appraisal to changes in the assumptions used.

By following the guidance in the Green Book 2022, transport infrastructure projects can be appraised comprehensively and transparently, considering the full range of social values. This information can then be used to support business cases and make informed investment decisions.


APPROACH NUMBER TWO:

The Green Book 2022 sets out the UK government’s approach to the appraisal and evaluation of transport infrastructure projects. It guides how to quantify social values, such as improved health, reduced crime, and enhanced social cohesion, to support transport infrastructure business cases and value for money.

The Green Book 2022 defines social values as “the benefits and costs that accrue to society as a whole, rather than to individuals or businesses.” These benefits and costs can be challenging to quantify but can be essential factors in decision-making about transport infrastructure projects.

The Green Book 2022 guides how to quantify social values using a variety of methods, including:

Market valuation: This method uses market prices to value goods and services traded in the market, such as travel time savings.
Cost of illness: This method uses the cost of treating diseases to value the benefits of reducing health risks, such as those associated with air pollution.
Willingness to pay: This method asks people how much they will pay for a particular benefit, such as improved access to jobs or reduced crime.


The Green Book 2022 also guides how to account for the distributional impacts of transport infrastructure projects. This is important because projects can impact different groups, such as those who live near transport infrastructure or rely on public transport.

The Green Book 2022 is essential for decision-makers considering transport infrastructure projects. It guides how to quantify social values and account for the distributional impacts of projects. This information can help decision-makers to make informed choices about which projects to invest in.

Here are some examples of how social values have been quantified in transport infrastructure projects:

The benefits of reducing air pollution have been valued using the cost of illness method. This method has found that the benefits of reducing air pollution can be significant, even when the health benefits are only valued at a relatively low price.


The benefits of improved access to jobs have been valued using the willingness to pay method. This method has found that people are willing to pay significantly for improved access to jobs, particularly in areas with high unemployment.


The benefits of reduced crime have been valued using the cost-of-crime method. This method has found that the benefits of reduced crime can be significant, particularly in areas with high crime rates.


The Green Book 2022 is valuable for decision-makers considering transport infrastructure projects. It guides how to quantify social values and account for the distributional impacts of projects. This information can help decision-makers to make informed choices about which projects to invest in.


APPROACH NUMBER THREE:
The Green Book 2022 guides quantifying social values for supporting transport infrastructure business cases and value for money. The Green Book defines social value as “the benefits that accrue to society as a whole from the provision of a good or service, over and above the private benefits that accrue to individual consumers or producers.”

There are several ways to quantify social values, and the Green Book provides guidance on selecting the most appropriate approach for a particular project. Some standard methods include:

Travel time savings: This is the most common approach to quantifying the social value of transport infrastructure projects. Travel time savings can be estimated using various methods like traffic modelling or surveys.
Reduced congestion: Congestion can have several negative social impacts, such as increased pollution, noise, and accidents. The social value of reduced congestion can be estimated using various methods, such as traffic modelling or surveys.
Improved air quality: Air pollution can have several adverse health impacts, such as respiratory problems and heart disease. The social value of improved air quality can be estimated using various methods, such as health impact assessments or surveys.
Reduced noise levels: Noise pollution can negatively impact human health and well-being. The social value of reduced noise levels can be estimated using various methods, such as noise impact assessments or surveys.
Improved safety: Transport infrastructure projects can enhance safety by reducing the risk of accidents. The social value of improved security can be estimated using various methods, such as accident statistics or surveys.
Economic development: Transport infrastructure projects can support economic growth by improving access to jobs, markets, and other opportunities. The social value of economic development can be estimated using various methods, such as economic impact assessments or surveys.


The Green Book also guides how to account for the distributional impacts of transport infrastructure projects. The distributional effects of a project are how the costs and benefits of the project are distributed across different groups of people. For example, a new road may improve travel times for some people but also increase noise levels for others. The Green Book recommends that decision-makers consider the distributional impacts of projects when making investment decisions.



The Green Book is a valuable resource for transport planners and decision-makers seeking to quantify the social values of transport infrastructure projects. The Green Book guides how to select the most appropriate approach for a particular project, account for the distributional impacts of projects, and use the results of social value assessments to inform investment decisions.


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