This paper describes how, transport benefits society, but also imposes costs, notably through air pollution, noise and accidents. Besides the effects on the environment and human health, current scientific attention is directed to the social impacts of transportation in urban areas. The valuation of the external costs of transport, in particular environmental externalities is a complex and challenging area. Recent and current research around the world is progressing the state-of-the-art, which will enable environmental and social externality costs to be incorporated within an expanded project evaluation approach. A set of unit values for a broad range of externality costs (including noise, air pollution, climate change, nature and landscape, and additional costs from upstream and downstream processes) for road transport are provided in this paper. The average total air pollution unit cost for cars is estimated in this paper somewhere in the area of 2 cents per vehicle km, while the average total environmental externality unit costs for cars are approaching 9 cents per vehicle km. Similarly, those average total unit costs for heavy vehicles are of the order of 5 cents per ton km, as opposed to light duty commercial vehicles for which average total unit costs are almost 40 cents per ton km. The ranges of unit values (and the qualifying assumptions) presented in this paper are a useful starting point for information and debate on this topic. However, additional local research including sensitivity analyses is recommended (based on the ExternE and Infras/IWW methodologies) to obtain values applicable to local areas and conditions for the unit cost categories of interest.


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  • Accession Number: 00964318
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 087659229X
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 9 2003 12:00AM