In November 2018 Transport Scotland published their first transport demand forecasts. In the past reliance was made on the forecasts published by the Department for Transport in London. Transport Scotland say that the main purpose of publishing these forecasts is to “report the transport forecasts generated by the Transport Model for Scotland (TMfS) and the Transport and Economic Land use Model of Scotland (TELMoS).”
Transport Scotland say “The forecasts are not self-fulfilling; i.e. the exogenous assumptions and agreed interventions from which this baseline was developed will change.” This is a slightly strange statement since the fact that the exogenous assumptions and interventions change does not imply that the forecasts are not self fulfilling. However throughout the document there are many health warnings and requests to contact Transport Scotland if users are unsure.
The forecasts explain that there is uncertainty associated with many factors. In Chapter Four, outputs from sensitivity tests are described to understand the sensitivity of the model to some of the more influential assumptions; population, economic growth, fuel prices and car ownership.
Do we still need transport forecasts? These are published as model results so is that a more helpful way to explain them rather than forecasts?
What other steps need to be taken to help to develop robust transport plans in a changing world?
Contribute to the STSG transport planning and forecasting debate here.