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On the Wider Economic Impacts of Transport Projects

25 APR 2012 (WED) | 19:00 - 20:00

Kwan Fong Lecture Theatre, Room 223, 2/F Knowles Building, The University of Hong Kong.


Speakers:Professor Roger Vickerman Professor of European Economics The University of Kent, Belgium

Roger Vickerman is Dean of the University of Kent's, Brussels Campus. He is also Professor of European Economics at the University of Kent and Director of the Centre for European, Regional and Transport Economics.

Educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Sussex, he has an Honorary Doctorate from the Philipps-Universitat, Marburg; he is an Academician of Academy of Social Sciences; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. He has been a visiting professor in Canada, Germany, Hungary and Australia.

Professor Vickerman's research focuses on the relationship between transport (especially infrastructure), regional development and integration in the European Union. He is particularly known for his studies on major infrastructure projects, particularly the EU's Trans-European Networks. He has served as a member of SACTRA (Standing Committee on Trunk Road Assessment), as an advisor to Committees of both the House of Commons and House of Lords in the UK Parliament and acted as a consultant to the European Commission, various UK government departments and regional and local government authorities. He is currently a member of the Analytical Challenge Panel to HS2 Ltd which advises the UK Government on the development of high-speed rail. He is the author of 6 books (including the textbook Principles of Transport Economics, with Emile Quinet) and over 150 chapters, journal articles and reports. He has edited the Handbook of Transport Economics (Edward Elgar, 2011) with Andre de Palma, Robin Lindsey and Emile Quinet, which brings together state of the art reviews from over 50 of the world's leading transport economists. He sits on the editorial boards of several journals in both transport and regional science and is Editor in Chief of Transport Policy.



There is at least a popular belief that major transport infrastructure projects give rise to benefits which are not captured in conventional investment appraisal. The building of a metro network, a major airport or a high speed rail line will have ramifications which go beyond the simple measurement of time savings or reductions in accidents. However, substantiating the idea with a methodology which is both theoretically sound and empirically applicable has proved challenging. Approaches have been refined in recent years and the empirical evidence has become more robust and convincing, showing that any such impacts need not always be beneficial. However, the adoption of formal measures of such impacts in official appraisal procedures has been much less widely implemented leaving decisions on major transport investments open to less scientific arguments for and against. This presentation will review the arguments for consideration of wider impacts and their treatment. It concludes with recommendations for the development of transparent procedures to ensure consistent treatment of such impacts.



Institute of Transport Studies, HKU (ITS)



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