Transport Investment Appraisal

Course overview

This 2-day course equips participants with skills to undertake transport investment appraisal, as well as providing an opportunity to discuss key appraisal issues around – for example – active modes, decarbonisation and transport sector futures. Starting from the principles of cost-benefit analysis and financial appraisal, the course covers the key methods and techniques, and includes worked examples and case studies from road and rail, as well as multi-modal packages. Recent technical developments and appraisal issues are also covered.

The course benefits from the expertise of our research-active staff and draws upon ITS’ experience advising the Department for Transport (DfT) and other leading transport organisations. The course structure below gives a guide to what you can expect from the course. This course is suitable for those who are new to the field and for more experienced professionals seeking to refresh their knowledge. For further information about the course content or its relevance to your work please contact the course leader - John Nellthorp (, and indicate if you would prefer to discuss by phone or via Teams.

Designed for people in the industry, these courses will develop up-to-date skills and knowledge for all transport professionals. Short courses are taught by active research staff and teachers, with external experts contributing, and are normally held at the Institute for Transport Studies. Alternate arrangements can be made to bring a course closer to you. All courses can be tailor-made to your company’s particular needs. Please get in touch to discuss bespoke course options.

Course structure

Outline programme

  • Principles of project appraisal; financial appraisal and cost-benefit analysis
  • Transport Business Cases; TAG; and appraisal systems worldwide
  • Value for money, discounting, decision-making, risk and optimism bias
  • Applications and case studies on different modes; CBA Workshop
  • Valuation of costs and benefits (i): travel time savings and the productivity of travel time 
  • Valuation of costs and benefits (ii): service quality, safety, environment and health 
  • Appraisal of High Speed Rail; Road case studies
  • Appraisal of walking, cycling and urban realm
  • Appraisal of social and distributional impacts
  • Transport and the economy
  • Land value uplift; Land value capture and other methods of project finance
  • The role of economic appraisal in government policy and decision-making.

Who should attend?

The course is ideally suited for transport professionals already working in the field of transport appraisal looking to extend their knowledge and discuss issues, and those who are moving into this field of work. Attendees typically come from government bodies, industry, consultancies and academia, and are drawn from the UK and worldwide. As such, the course is an opportunity to discuss transport and appraisal issues with an interesting and diverse group.

Fee information

£825 (including VAT*) with a £100 discount if booked alongside the Transport Infrastructure and Economic Performance short course.

*VAT is charged at 0% on educational courses provided by the University of Leeds. 

Venue details

This course will be held in person at the Institute for Transport Studies in Leeds, with the option to join online. Delegates could also mix and match: for example attending the first day in person and the second day virtually. The course programme has been adjusted so that those attending online get given extra time at the beginning of the day (to sort out technical issues) and the end of the day to ensure that workshop materials are completed/understood.

Please be aware that social aspects of the course, including the course meal and breaktime conversations will be in person, though an open microphone will be left on in the lecture room for online delegates to participate should they wish in any informal conversations. Please indicate when booking which option you prefer.

The course materials will be shared electronically with all delegates in advance.