The Productive Use of Rail Travel Time and Value of Travel Time Saving for Travellers in the Course of Work

The Productive Use of Rail Travel Time and Value of Travel Time Saving for Travellers in the Course of Work


R Fickling, Mott MacDonald, UK; H Gunn, HGA and TRi Napier University, UK; H Kirby, TRi Napier University; M Bradley, Mark Bradley Research and Consulting, US; C Heywood, Accent, UK



Mott MacDonald, in association with Hugh Gunn (HGA, TRi), Howard Kirby (TRi, Napier
University), Mark Bradley (MBRC) and Accent Market Research (the ?consortium?), have been
commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) to undertake a detailed study of the
Productive Use of Travel Time and Work Value of Travel Time Saving, with the primary goal being
?undertake a stated preference study of rail business travellers to obtain direct evidence on the
productive use of travel time during the course of work and to assess its impact on the work value
of marginal travel time savings? (Department for Transport, 2007).
This study has been undertaken to address a series of specific questions designed to better
understand the ways in which journey time savings by rail (for those on employer?s business trips
or self-employed) are used and their implications for appraisal. . The questions addressed were
linked to the so-called Hensher approach to the valuation of business travel time, and covered:
? Estimation of the degree of productive use of travel time, split into factors
which would influence the productive use of travel time;
? Assessing the productivity of work done while travelling on the train relative
to work done at workplace, and what effects this productivity level;
? Examining where productive work occurs during the rail journey, and how
this would be impacted on by marginal travel time savings or extensions;
? Assessing whether any personal welfare gain was enjoyed with any time
savings, if so, assess business travellers' willingness to pay for these personal
These questions were investigated through a Survey on the Productive Use of Rail Travel-time
(SPURT), conducted early in 2008. This paper provides a provisional commentary upon how the
results obtained may be applied and what effects they might have on the appraisal of rail related transport schemes.


Association for European Transport