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Option and non-use values of expanded transport provision and rural accessibility

In addition to the quantifi ed costs and benefi ts above there will be other benefi ts which are far harder to measure. For example, in a rural area access to any motorised mode of transport may be limited, and the longer distances associated with lower density of population may make walking and cycling more diffi cult. In these circumstances there are two values which are hard to capture:

• People’s willingness to pay to have an alternative means of transport available even if not used at present (option value);

• A change in the ability of people to get to places of work, leisure or other purposes (accessibility value).

These are discussed in the DfT’s appraisal guidance (Unit 4.1) which says of accessibility:

“…accessibility may be presented as refl ecting the range of opportunities and choices people have in connecting with jobs, services and friends and families. The level of access will depend on where people choose to live, where services are located, and the availability of ‘home delivery’ of goods or services. It is also about the availability and affordability of transport; providing journeys that are appropriate in terms of time and cost. Improving accessibility can be achieved through one or a combination of these elements.”

Although frequently used in the context of providing public transport in rural areas, or special transport for people with mobility problems, both option values and accessibility are relevant to car club schemes. In urban areas these may be modest, but in rural areas, depending on existing public and specialised transport provision, they may be much greater.

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