How Can the Value of the Resilience of Transportation Assets Be Assessed?

How Can the Value of the Resilience of Transportation Assets Be Assessed?


Remi Martins-Tonks, Oxera Consulting LLP, Sean Thomas, Oxera Consulting LLP, Phillip Horne, Port of Dover


We examine how the value of the resilience of transport assets can be assessed using the costs associated with behavioural responses to disruptions of different durations, and describe how we analysed the resilience of the Port of Dover.


Valuing the reliability (or resilience) of transportation assets is becoming increasingly important due to factors such as severe weather conditions, which cause disruption and put significant pressure on transport links. However, while the literature (for example, see the UK Department for Transport’s Appraisal Guidance: WebTAG) focuses on different methods of measuring reliability, we are unaware of analysis that assesses the value of reliability (or resilience) over different time periods—for example, by evaluating the difference in behavioural response between a short-term disruption (half a day) and a longer-term disruption (one week or one month).

This paper examines how the value of resilience can be assessed in the short and longer term. It thereby offers a new insight for this area of transport economics and appraisal by analysing how the behaviour of passengers/freight traffic changes depending on the duration of a disruption. We also examine behavioural changes relating to a perceived reduction in resilience.

The paper will outline a framework for analysing resilience and then illustrate how it can be applied using case studies including the analysis that Oxera has conducted on the Port of Dover’s resilience. The Port of Dover is situated on the South Coast of the UK and is the busiest freight roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry port in Europe. Trade worth over £100bn passes through the port each year. However, during summer 2015, the port and the neighbouring Channel Tunnel experienced significant disruption due to industrial action and the ongoing migrant crisis. Oxera analysed the port’s resilience to this disruption.

We conclude by discussing how this approach to analysing the benefits of resilience can fit into the appraisal framework. This paper therefore provides an innovative way of examining a non-standard area of transport appraisal, which we believe will make a valuable contribution to the literature.


Association for European Transport