Decision-making for sustainable transport

Decision-making for sustainable transport

The New Approach to Transport Appraisal (NATA) was introduced in 1998 as part of the government’s integrated transport policy. In May 2007, The Department for Transport (DfT) announced that it was to ’refresh’ NATA and has published a detailed consultation document.
Transport appraisal methods in the UK have evolved over several decades. The DfT refresh process provides an opportunity to consider both the effectiveness of the overall NATA approach and to fully include the government’s new transport objectives, recently set out in the October 2007 document, Towards a sustainable transport system, which will lead to a white paper at the end of 2008.
This report contributes to the refresh by asking two fundamental questions. The first is whether NATA delivers an appraisal process that accurately represents the true costs and benefits of transport schemes and fully reflects the government’s objectives in general and, in particular, its climate change targets. The second issue is whether NATA’s basic principles have been followed in practice.
The purpose of appraisal is to provide the most accurate picture of how much it costs to achieve a certain level of progress towards government objectives for transport. It would therefore be expected that schemes which strongly support government policies should perform well, and those that do not should perform less well.

A summary document, Getting transport right, is available to download here.
Keith Buchan
Publication Date:
18 February, 2008

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