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Quantification of marginal social costs of road transport: what are the main components?

Nash, CA, Shires, JD and Link, H (2010) Quantification of marginal social costs of road transport: what are the main components? Transport and Sustainability, 79 (2). 13 - 38. ISSN 0340-1707


The current concern with sustainability rightly requires those involved with transport to consider carefully the sustainability of the transport sector, and in particular its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is important to remember that greenhouse gases are just one of the costs of transport systems, and it makes no sense therefore to take decisions about transport systems based on the impact on greenhouse gas emissions alone. Against this background, the paper discusses the state of research in estimating marginal external costs of road transport and presents the results of two case studies. These suggest that under peak traffi c conditions congestion costs are by far the most important externalities of road use. Accidents, wear and tear and noise costs all appear to be more important than global warming. These results stress that reducing global warming costs, important though they are, should not be the sole priority of transport decisions. Our results suggest that other costs are also very important and need to be taken into account in pricing and investment decisions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Environmental taxes and subsidies, safety and accidents, transportation noise
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds) > ITS: Economics and Discrete Choice (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2012 15:11
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016 18:09
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3790/vjh.79.2.13
Status: Published
Publisher: Duncker & Humblot
Identification Number: 10.3790/vjh.79.2.13
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43660

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