This paper reviews information obtained during interviews regarding the transport of freight between the UK and Continental Europe, immediately before the opening of the Channel Tunnel. The interviews form the first phase of a before and after study to investigate the impact of the Channel Tunnel on freight flows. In addition to information on firms' movement of freight during early 1994, an interactive Stated Preference exercise was used to determine how firms were likely to react to changes in cost and reliability which may result from opening the Channel Tunnel. This was in addition to the valuing of the through intermodal and Le Shuttle freight services, with cost and reliability held equal to that of the currently used ferry. From initial modelling, it was found that firms already using Cross Channel ferries on the Dover Straits services required little incentive to change to using Le Shuttle for accompanied road goods vehicles. For vehicles on longer sea routes and for unaccompanied loads the (percentage) incentives required would be greater. In general the incentive required to switch to the use of through intermodal rail services was twice that of switching to Le Shuttle. This assumed service quality remained constant. Any deterioration in service quality would result in the service not being considered by many firms, except where unrealistically large incentives were offered. The second phase of the study, to be undertaken in 1995/96 is intended to determine the inpact of the opening of the Channel Tunnel on the same sample of firms. The data collected will he compared with the predictions produced by the Stated Preference exercise in order to test the accuracy of the method when used in forecasting. By investigating apparent discrepancies, further modelling work is expected to provide improved estimates of user valuations, and shed light on how best to overcome the scale factor problem for Stated Preference forecasting
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