The Development of Road and Rail Transport Safety Valuation in the United Kingdom

05 January 2013
By Michael Spackman with Michael Jones-Lee, Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University Business School

An extensive body of theoretical and empirical work has been undertaken in the UK since the middle of the last century on the estimation of values of safety for use in the appraisal of proposed transport projects, particularly road and rail. In this article from Research in Transportation Economics, NERA Special Advisor Michael Spackman and Emeritus Professor Michael Jones-Lee of Newcastle University Business School summarize the main findings of this research. The authors note that the research has focused largely on "willingness-to-pay" based values in order to measure the strength of the traveling public's preference for marginal improvements in transport safety, relative to consumption of other goods and services. In terms of practical policy making, the research has resulted in a set of values for the prevention of statistical fatalities and non-fatal injuries that are applied not only in transport safety decision making, but also in other public sector contexts.