§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that the economic appraisal of capital investment projects undertaken by his Department shall henceforward use the same criteria for both road and railway projects, rather than maintaining the present system whereby rail investment is required to satisfy more stringent criteria than those for road investment.
§ Mr. David Howell
The respective methods of appraising road and rail investments reflect the different ways in which travellers and consignors of freight pay for using the two systems. It is not appropriate to use the same criteria, and there is no simple or consistent relation between the results of different types of appraisal. However, the methodological problems inherent in making such comparisons are the subject of a pilot study commissioned by my Department at the request of the standing advisory committee on trunk road assessment.