A Unifying Framework for the Forecasting of Induced Traffic on Large Scale Transport Infrastructure in Europe



A Unifying Framework for the Forecasting of Induced Traffic on Large Scale Transport Infrastructure in Europe

Authors

VAN VUREN T and DALY A, Hague Consulting Group, UK

Description

The objectives of the Trans-European Networks (TENs) were set out in the Commission's White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment:

Abstract

The objectives of the Trans-European Networks (TENs) were set out in the Commission's White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment:

* higher economic growth;

* better functioning of the internal market;

* improved competitiveness;

* more economic and social cohesion;

* improved quality of life;

* reduced pollution;

* easier integration into the Union of new members;

* better links between the Union and its neighbours.

Not everyone is convinced that the large-scale infrastructure investments planned in the context of the TENs will indeed give rise to such benefits. In particular, environmental interest groups (e.g. Greenpeace, 1995) have expressed their worries about the desirability of the increased accessibility allowed by the Trans-European Networks, and the possible long-term impacts on the environment. Much of the debate centres around the phenomenon of induced traffic, in general terms traffic (trips and kilometres) that would not occur without the infrastructure investment.

It is therefore necessary to have reliable assessments of the extent of induced traffic brought about by infrastructure investments, so that environmental impacts can be properly assessed as part of the decision-making process for each investment. The study reported in this paper has reviewed the methods used for the treatment of induced traffic for a large number of infrastructure investments, mainly in Europe.

To compare and assess these studies in which induced traffic on new large-scale transport infrastructure has been observed or modelled, it is essential to consider first the definition of induced traffic, and to design a framework that operationalises such a definition in modelling terms. Similarly, it is crucial to separate the transport modelling needs from subsequent evaluation needs - whereas travel demand models are concerned with the quantification of effects of infrastructure improvements, the evaluation must combine and weight these effects according to the objectives of the project, thus translating effects into impacts. The paper is mainly concerned with the former, but clearly cannot ignore the demands of the latter.

Publisher

Association for European Transport