HC Deb 16 April 1996 vol 275 cc441-2W
Mr. David Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of(a) the percentage increase in traffic on roads by the year 2005 and (b) the cost of consequent delays and inefficiencies. [25221]

Mr. Watts

The Department's most recent forecasts show road traffic in 2005 between 16 per cent. and 26 per cent. higher than in 1996.

The Department does not make estimates of the national cost of delays and inefficiencies. These costs at a national level are very difficult concepts to pin down. Others have made estimates of the UK cost of congestion on the basis of work carried out by the Organisation for Economic Congestion and Development some six years ago. However, the method used contains a number of gross simplifications and the results are consequently unreliable.

Our own assessments focus on the appraisal of individual transport projects. They start from the baseline of current conditions and estimate the reduction in costs in the area concerned that can be achieved by implementing the project. These estimates are backed up by an on-going extensive programme of research on methodology.