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Introducing Willingness-to-pay for Noise Changes into Transport Appraisal: An Application of Benefit Transfer

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Numerous research studies have elicited willingness-to-pay values for transport-related noise. However, in many industrialized countries including the UK, noise costs and benefits are still not incorporated into appraisals for most transport projects and policy changes. This paper describes the actions recently taken in the UK to address this issue, comprising: primary research based on the city of Birmingham; an international review of willingness-to-pay evidence; the development of values using benefit transfers over time and locations; and integration with appraisal methods. Amongst the main findings are: that the willingness-to-pay estimates derived for the UK are broadly comparable with those used in appraisal elsewhere in Europe; that there is a case for a lower threshold at 45 dB(A)Leq,18h rather than the more conventional 55 dB(A); and that values per dB(A) increase with the noise level above this threshold. There are significant issues over the valuation of rail versus road noise, the neglect of non-residential noise and the valuation of high noise levels in different countries. Conclusions are drawn regarding the feasibility of noise valuation based on benefit transfers in the UK and elsewhere, and future research needs in this field are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 2: Transport Studies Group, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK 3: CSERGE, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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