Leisure Traffic from an Economic Welfare Perspective

Leisure Traffic from an Economic Welfare Perspective


P Jorritsma, J A C Korteweg, KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis, NL


Leisure traffic is not seen as econmic important. The paper discusses the importance of leisure traffic from an economic prosperity perspective. This is done for 2006 and 2020.


Leisure traffic from an economic prosperity perspective

In the Netherlands discussions concerning road-congestion concentrate mainly on commuter and business traffic; leisure related traffic is often ignored. Even in the Dutch Mobility Policy Document no attention is paid to leisure traffic. The focus is on freight transport, business traffic and commuter traffic, which are seen as important for ecomomic development. In this paper we discuss the importance of leisure traffic from an economic prosperity perspective. Furthermore we look to 2020 to see how leisure traffic has evolved, in relation to the other purposes of travel.

In the Netherlands in 2006, leisure related traffic accounted for a large percentage of both the number of trips (37%) and the total number of kilometres travelled (44%). More people travel for leisure activities during the evening rush-hour than during the morning rush-hour. However, the load placed on the main road network is limited. Congestion as a result of leisure traffic occurs under specific circumstances and at particular locations and times of day.

From the perspective of economic prosperity, leisure traffic is important. The total annual ?economic value? of this traffic is approximately equal to that of commuter traffic (each approximately 30% of the total value). Business traffic and other traffic, such as travelling to and from shops and schools (excluding freight transport) each represent approximately 17%. This ?value? is estimated by expressing the travelling time as a monetary value and adding the costs actually paid for the trip.

The development in the value can be derived from the development in the volume of leisure traffic (expressed in travel time) and the development of the ?value? of leisure trips. In 2020 the share of the total value of leisure related traffic will have declined significantly in comparison with 2006, because the travel time of the trips for other reasons is increasing more rapidly. Because the monetary value of leisure traffic is not increasing more rapidly than is the case for trips taken for other reasons, the share of the total value of leisure traffic is decreasing.

The dynamics of leisure traffic will primarily be seen in the so-called ?occasional leisure activities?, such as visits to attractions and events. In addition to making this type of trips more often in the future, the Dutch will also be making these trips to destinations further from home and will therefore travel longer distances.

Various measures are conceivable to influence leisure traffic, including charges such as road pricing, parking policy or discounted rates for public transport. Location-specific measures are possible, such as location policy aimed at facilities and the relocation of entrances to attractions and facilities. It would also be possible to change the opening times of facilities and attractions and to charge different entrance fees depending on the time of day.

This paper is based on a study carried out by KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis by order of the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.
KiM (2008), Vrijetijdsverkeer in perspectief


Association for European Transport