A new report launching next month will show clear evidence that investing in cleaner and sustainable transport can do more to boost local economies than traditional programmes of transport funding, its authors say.
The report, by the EU-funded EVIDENCE project - a European team of climate, environment and transport experts – is a summary of findings based on analyses of the impact of transport infrastructure projects and measures around the world.
Set for release in early October, the report says that some major road and rail projects do not create jobs or reduce congestion on the scale many developers claim, and dismiss the benefit of traditional cost-benefit analyses (CBAs).
Used as guidance for decisions made on spending and project selection, CBAs are based on the ‘cumulative monetary benefits of many hundreds of thousands of small time savings,’ the EVIDENCE team writes.
A wider analysis of costs and benefits and moving the emphasis away from large new roads or high-profile rail projects to more sustainable forms of transport, they argue, has a better potential to reduce congestion and pollution.
This would help to create high-quality living environments – a factor increasingly taken into account by global businesses looking to relocate and recruit local staff.
‘We found compelling evidence that shows that if we factor in the health benefits of ‘active transport’ such as walking and cycling, and reduce the importance of time savings in our calculations, we would get very different results and more funding for traffic reduction and decarbonised road transport,’ said Dr Colin Black, one of the co-authors of the report.
‘A city that can reduce the number of cars and provide high-quality walking and cycling facilities will be more successful than a city characterised by traffic jams, stressful commuter journeys on crowded roads and pollution serious enough to put citizens in hospital.’
The summary report is being launched at the CIVITAS Forum in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on 7 October and will be made available online in all EU languages.
For more information, visit evidence-project.eu.