Assessing the Impacts of Future European Transport Policy on Regional Development, Environment and Economy: a Scenarios Approach



Assessing the Impacts of Future European Transport Policy on Regional Development, Environment and Economy: a Scenarios Approach

Authors

STEAD D and BANISTER D, University College London, UK

Description

Indicators allow identification of the main impacts of policy, and illustrate how these impacts change over time. They provide a broad-based picture for use by policy makers, and provide a way of evaluating the effects of alternative policy packages. This

Abstract

Indicators allow identification of the main impacts of policy, and illustrate how these impacts change over time. They provide a broad-based picture for use by policy makers, and provide a way of evaluating the effects of alternative policy packages. This paper exnmines the role of indicators in assessing future impacts of European transport policy. Indicators of economic efficiency, regional development and environmental protection are presented in this study. The paper illustrates how indicators can be developed and used in a policy scenario analysis. It builds on the POSSUM research project which is concerned with identifying the impacts of the European Common Transport Policy (CTP), using a scenario approach 1.

There is an increasing level of interest and activity in the use of indicators for policy analysis and decision making purposes. Many different types of indicators for a variety of sectors are being investigated and used. Organisations such as the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, the OECD, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and the World Bank have been involved in the development of indicators for policy analysis and decision making purposes (e.g. CEC 1996a, EEA 1995, OECD 1994, World Bank 1995a). There is already a body of literature on indicators for the transport sector (e.g. OECD 1993, USEPA 1996, World Bank 1995b).

This paper focuses on the European Common Transport Policy (CTP), and how the main objectives of the CTP might be achieved under different scenarios. Policy scenarios are constructed around each of the main objectives of the CTP, and the outcomes of ,each scenario are examined using a selection of indicators to represent the main impacts. A total of six scenarios are constructed, reflecting three different policy objectives and two assumptions about the future of Europe and policy-making at the European level. The three types of policy objectives considered are economic efficiency, regional development and environmental protection. The two assumptions

* about the future of the European Union and policy-making at the European level (called external frameworks) are deliberately polarised at the opposite ends of the spectrum. The aims of the paper are:

* to identify indicators which may be used to assess the impacts transport policy on economic efficiency, regional development and environmental protection;

* to assess how policy scenarios perform across a range of impacts (within the three areas of economic efficianey, regional development and environmental protection);

* to compare the outcomes of similar policies under different future scenarios (external frameworks);

* to assess whether the three policy objectives are complementary or mutually exclusive.

In order to identify the extent to which the main objectives of the CTP can be achieved, two models of the relationship between these objectives are examined. The conventional (two-dimensional) model of the relationship between these three objectives, namely economic efficiency, regional development and environmental protection, is shown in Figure la, in which each of the three objectives appear in tension. This model implies that each objective can only be achieved at the expense of the two other objectives. However, it may be that one objective can be achieved without negative effects on other objectives. Indeed, it may be possible that the achievement of one objective is complementary to the achievement of one or both of the other objectives (resnlting in win-win or win-win-win situations). The relationship between the three objectives is likely to be closer to the three-dimensional model shown in ]Figure lb. The paper seeks to exzrnine how the outcomes of the alternative policy scenarios fit within these two models.

The relationship between the three main European transport policy objectives is examined using 'spider diagrams' which show how the indicators of economic efficiency, regional development and environmental protection perform in each scenario (a qualitative multicriteria approach which is described in more detail by Nijkamp et al., 1995).

The paper begins by setting out a summary of current European transport policy objectives. This is followed by a description of the indicator selection process. Next, each of the policy scenarios ate described, and the main impacts of these scenarios snrnmarised by means of the indicators. The time period 1997-2020 is used. The impact of each scenario on the indicators of economic efficiency, regional development and environmental protection are then presented, using 'spider diagrams'. The conclusions identify how policy scenarios perform across a range of impacts (wjthln the three areas of economic efficiency, regional development and environmental protection), compare the outcomes of similar policies under different future scenarios (external frameworks) and assess whether the three policy objectives are complementary or mutually exclusive.

Publisher

Association for European Transport