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Introducing willingness -to-pay for noise changes into transport appraisal - an application of benefit transfer

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journal contribution
posted on 22.05.2007, 10:14 authored by J. Nellthorp, Abigail Bristow, B. Day
Numerous research studies have elicited willingness-to-pay values for transport related noise, however in many industrialised countries including the UK, noise costs and benefits are still not incorporated into appraisals for most transport projects and policy changes (Odgaard et al., 2005; Grant-Muller et al., 2001). 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; 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 45dB(A)Leq,18hr 1 rather than the more conventional 55dB(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 nonresidential 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.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


Nellthorp J., Bristow A.L. and Day B. (2007) Introducing willingness-to-pay for noise changes into transport appraisal - an application of benefit transfer. Transport Reviews 27(3), pp327-353


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This article was published in the journal Transport reviews [© Routledge]. The definitive version is available at:





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