Monitoring and Evaluating Smarter Travel Measures: How to Show True Value?
J Bunney, JMP Consulting Ltd, UK
Greater emphasis upon value for money means it is increasingly important to find methods that reliably identify the benefits associated with Smarter Travel measures. This paper examines the latest monitoring techniques to isolate such benefits.
Whilst Smarter Travel measures and programmes have now been around for some time there still remains a degree of scepticism about how effective they are in delivering against objectives. This can particularly be the case when comparing value for money, and perceived success, against more traditional infrastructure and operational measures. Within many programmes the water is further muddied where Smarter Travel measures are implemented in support of infrastructure and operational improvements.
With an ever greater emphasis upon value for money from investment it has become increasingly important to find methods that reliably identify the benefits associated with Smarter Travel measures.
Monitoring of Smarter Travel Town/Borough programmes has been successfully undertaken at an aggregate level and demonstrated some real benefits in reduced congestion and increased levels of active travel. However, identifying benefits from individual types of measures remains less robust and inconsistencies in approaches, as well as poor analytical techniques, has left questionmarks over the value for money of investment in individual types of measures.
Part of the issue of any monitoring and evaluation process is the ability to isolate the impacts attributable to the measure alone. In an ever changing world, it can be difficult to determine true reference cases that reflect what would have happened in the absence of investment. This paper examines the latest techniques being applied to isolate the benefits attributed to Smarter Travel measures. It details the overarching requirements of effective monitoring frameworks, the approach to designing and selecting appropriate indicators, and how the metrics that are measured should feed directly into outcomes that are relevant to investors and policy makers. This includes ways of measuring outcomes, including value for money, that can be effectively compared to more traditional infrastructure schemes, thus establishing the respective benefits from each type of measure.
The paper draws strong conclusions upon the need for clear and prescriptive monitoring and evaluation strategies for transport projects to allow policy makers to effectively determine the relative merits of investment.
Association for European Transport