Analyse the benefits arising from the construction of new trunk roads and motorways. (15) A trunk road is a strategic road built specifically for freight transportation alongside the roads used for personal transport, in this case built by the government. For the purpose of this essay, I shall consider a benefit to be either the prevention or reduction in the number of negative externalities produced by trucks and cars sharing the same road and also the economic benefits felt by both households and firms. The largest benefit arising is the reduction of congestion on normal roads. This benefits normal road users, firms who use trunk roads and the government. Normal road users are able to get where they want to go faster because of less trucks on the road. This also means there is less starting and stopping on longer routes, and therefore less fuel is wasted.
This means road users have to refuel less often, and given the current rise in fuel prices, this makes driving less expensive. However, another benefit arising from this is a slight reduction in environmental damage: less starting and stopping leads to a reduction in the emissions of carbon dioxide from both cars and Lorries. This is good for the environment because less emissions means less greenhouse gasses being emitted into the atmosphere, and this ultimately reduces the amount to global warming on Earth. This is desirable such warming would cause damage to fragile ecosystems and will eventually drive many species to extinction. Further, such a construction project would make firms transportation far more efficient for the same reasons: there is less standstill and slow-moving traffic, allowing goods to be delivered to their destination faster.
This would raise the productivity of such firms, and therefore lower their costs of production. This raise in productivity for firms using such transport routes would result in them being able to produce a higher final output (as cost of production, including transportation of the materials, fall) resulting in a rise in real GDP. A rise in the output of an economy yields numerous important benefits, such as lower unemployment, a rise in the standard of living, greater business confidence and also the accelerator effect on capital investment (contributing to long-term economic growth). The government, and by extension the people within the economy, will also indirectly benefit from trunk roads, as roads become safer for car-owners. As there is less congestion on the roads, the spacing between cars will increase. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring, and as a result, the roads will become a safer place.
An example of this is European lorry-drivers who have left-hand drive Lorries. This means that they have a huge blind spot, in which many accidents occur- this issue is compounded by the fact that many international truckers work illegal hours, and are fatigued on the job, ultimately reducing their perception and alertness. This makes accidents more likely. This benefits the government because it will decrease the burden placed on the NHS in addressing road accidents. The money saved in having to treat less people can be used in other ways, such as investing in education or promoting economic growth. In conclusion, the reduction in congestion caused by the creation of trunk roads will reduce environmental damage, make the roads a safer place, reduce the burden on the NHS, and it will boost the productivity of firms, ultimately accommodating an increase in output.
Analyse the factors that determine a consumer’s use of a given mode of transport. (15) In the following, I shall analyse the factors determining consumers choices to use cars as a mode of transportation.