Innovative Approach Towards Robust Appraisal: Preparation of Business Case for Transport Schemes in London
S Ghosh, I Steffens, Faber Maunsell, UK
The authors? having experience of preparing business cases of varying scales and types for Transport for London, would aim to share the experiences and lessons learnt in carrying out this appraisal process.
London, due to its regional, economic and political prominence both nationally and internationally, constantly aims to expand the performance level of its transportation infrastructure, mostly in form of boosting up the capacity of public transport infrastructure. Whilst improvements to railway infrastructure are considered to be long term measures and cost intensive in nature, the introduction of bus priority schemes on some of the busiest roads in London, is often seen to be an efficient and cost effective public transport oriented approach in bringing in more capacity to the transportation system.
Transport for London (TfL) being entrusted with the onerous task of selecting and implementing the projects expected to bring in maximum returns in form of revenues and social benefits; has devised an approach of prioritising the schemes based on a socio-economic and financial appraisal system, through the preparation of business schemes.
Intended Contents of the Paper
The authors? having experience of preparing business cases of varying scales and types for TfL, would aim to share the experiences and lessons learnt in carrying out this appraisal process. The paper would predominantly dwell on:
§ Approach towards determining the project life cycle based on its nature and scale
§ Approach towards determining operation, management and other indirect costs over and above the scheme capital cost
§ Methodology of identifying a long list of likely project benefits focussing on multiple areas and dimensions
§ Methodology for optioneering and shortlisting of likely benefits in consultation with various stakeholders
§ Develop methodologies for quantifying various nature of benefits, based on approaches suggested by a combination of BCDM (Business Case Development Manual-TfL) and Webtag (Transport Analysis Guidance) principles
§ Underlying assumptions and their possible impact on benefits forecasting
§ Uncertainties in bus operations in medium to long horizon and defining the sensitivity tests to incorporate those risks
§ Approach towards incorporating indirect effects of schemes in the vicinity which are likely to have impacts on the project(s) being appraised.
The paper is intended to share the innovative approach adopted for the appraisal of various scales of projects, by giving examples of different case studies. The objective is to present a balanced approach in preparing business cases in order to achieve maximum robustness of the appraisal as well as exploring as many dimensions and benefit streams, within the given time and cost constraints.
It is assumed that the approach and findings discussed in the paper would form interesting areas for discussion in the conference, and valuable inputs could be obtained from professionals of other companies and countries, to enrich the process of business case preparation further.
Association for European Transport