Thursday, 7 January 2010


Forecast is a future estimate usually based on past information. It is important to make predictions about the demand for transport since transport plays very important role in economic growth. It can be assessed in terms of usefulness of transport in providing services for people and connecting different steps in the supply chain. Economists make forecasts of demand for transport in order to predict how much the provision of transport services is needed and this is sometimes called ‘predict and provide’ approach. Another reason of making forecasts is to know in which parts of roads there will be the highest amount of cars and the biggest congestions might occur. This will help government in taking measures to reduce these congestions before they occur.
In the UK, for example, it was forecasted that by the year 2010 road congestion will increase by 65%, while motorway congestion by 268%. By introducing 25 years plan ‘The Future of Transport’ government is considering to increase the capacity of roads and by reduce congestion.
Also forecast of transport demand can show the effectiveness of introduction of transport policies at both national and local levels. In order to make these forecasts economists have to gather and analyze past statistics of demand and also make other assumptions of population growth, GDP growth, fuel prices and the amount of license holders. For freight transport industrial output and import of goods have also to be assumed.
However, as forecasts are based on past info, they might not reflect the real picture of situation and lead to market and government failure.


Transport is a movement of people and goods for personal and business reasons. It is widely recognized as central to economic growth. It provides an immediate service to a wide range of productive activities in almost all economic sectors. Since demand for transport is derived demand because it depends upon the final output, that is the destination that people need to get to, it will depend upon people’s aims of travelling.
In the modern world most of the activities of people involve the use of transport and, everyday millions of people use cars, buses, trains to get to work, go to holidays, etc.
Many people usually live far away from the place where they work and therefore they have to use transport every day. And what government has to concern about is how to make easier and faster for people to get to their work. Since private transport is considered to be the most convenient mean of transport, many people use their cars every day to travel to work. When the amount of cars exceeds the capacity of roads, congestions might appear which create a big negative external effect and lead to a reduction in productivity, wasting time of people, which they could use to do some work, and environmental pollution. So there are many measures are being taken in order to reduce this impact by promoting other modes of transport such as buses or trains.
Changes in costs of the use of some modes of transport also play a big role in the economy of the country because if these costs increase, for example, people might decide to save more and reduce consumption in order to be able to afford to use buses everyday to get to work. Also since transport sector accounts for a substantial proportion of employment, it affects the employment levels of the country.
Another sector of economy – government spending is also hugely affected by transport because by introducing different policies, investments and promoting substantial types of transport government increases its spending and so other sectors of the economy might suffer from underinvestment. In such cases when government can’t raise sufficient funds, Private Financial Initiative is being introduced which includes using money from private and public sector with contractual agreement.
Freight transport also has a big impact on the economy because the whole supply chain includes transporting goods from one place to another and so without an integrated and efficient transport, the whole production of services and goods might suffer. Example of congestions also might be suitable here because if goods are moved by truck, congestion might delay delivery of goods to customers or some perishable goods might go off and so companies will make losses.
So as we can see transport plays important role in the economy and increases the welfare of people by providing them access to social facilities.
When economists make forecasts about the demand and supply of transport there might some uncertainties appear such as economic and political shock which has a huge impact on the demand for transport and can’t be predicted sometimes. Also the growth of population difficult to predict and so economists are not sure how many people will get driving licenses. When government introduces transport policies it can’t know for sure how this policy will affect the demand for transport and whether it will change or not.
Also it difficult to predict how income will change and how this change will affect the demand for certain types of transport.


Elasticity of demand is the responsiveness of a quantity demanded to a price/income/price of another good change. This concept is hugely used for business purposes and it plays very important role in determining the demand for transport. Transport is a movement of people and goods for personal and business reasons. Now in the UK most of the transport modes are owned by the private sector and firms who own these modes, that is means of transport, use elasticity as one of the most influential concepts when forecasting demand. Firstly, if we look at price elasticity of demand, that is the responsiveness of a quantity demanded to a price change, even if it an estimate and may not reflect the true picture of a situation, it can show whether this or another mean of transport is normal good and demand is elastic or inelastic. If it elastic, for example, as in case of air travel, businesses have to be careful with changing prices and can be sure that with lowering prices they might be able to increase their market share. Low cost airlines in the UK such as EasyJet or Ryanair are good examples of this situation, when they by introducing very low prices in comparison to big and established companies, such as British Airways, could increase their market share and outrun BA in the amount of flights per year. However, in case of private cars, which have relatively inelastic demand, increase in taxes or fuel might not have such a huge effect since private car owners see obvious advantages to travel by car in some cases. But as private cars are considered to be unsustainable mode of transport, government is taking different measures in order to make drivers switch to ‘greener transport’ by making it more integrated, improving the quality of services.
Another type of elasticity of demand – income, which shows how change in income affects demand, also widely used in transport, because by knowing that decrease in income will reduce demand for long haul airtravel, businesses might decide to increase provision for short-haul flights. However, again Income Elasticity of Demand is just an estimate so it might not show correct figure and if businesses will heavily rely on it, they might make wrong decisions and end with market failure.
Cross Elasticity of Demand is another concept of elasticity which shows how change in price for product A will affect the quantity demanded for product B. There are substitute goods that are competing goods and complements which have joint demand. In case of transport, substitutes might be just two different providers of services such as Oxford Bus Services, for example, and Stagecoach. By analyzing the income elasticity of demand they might see whether increase in ticket fares of one provider will lead to a huge decrease in demand for another or whether this change will be insignificant, which will allow to consider that this Bus Company has bigger market share and more successful in the market.
In case of complements, which might be train and bus which provides a service in the nodes of traveling by train, increase in prices for train fares might lead to a decrease in demand for them and therefore less people will demand this bus service. So businesses will be able to know how big effect the change in the price for train has on change in demand for bus.
So, as we can see elasticity of demand plays very important role in transport by helping businesses be aware of the situation in the market and take measures according to it.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Such a road pricing scheme when drivers have to pay per mile have many benefits in terms of reducing negative externalities, however there are some arguements against this policy.

There are many external costs arising from the use of private cars such air pollutions, traffic jams and time wasted in traffic jams, decrease in efficiency and loss of time; in order to cope with all these problems government as one of the solutions might introduce charging scheme and this will be an effective way since there 'pay as you go' principle will work and every driver will pay as much as he has driven and so this would be more equitable. However, on the other hand, the question of equity will still arise, because people from different backgrounds will have to pay the same amount and thereby there regressive taxation system will work since the poor will spend a bigger proportion of their income on it.
Another advantage of this charging scheme is that it might be really helpful in reducing congestions on major roads and thereby reduce negative externalities. But the problem for the government is the amount of tax that has to be charged per mile.
As you can see from the graph below there wasn’t any market failure before the line started to diverge.

This occurs because volume of cars reached the point when negative externalities appear. Market equilibrium will be at point B, while social equilibrium where external effect is internalized is at point C. If government introduces prices which covers all the costs from congestions, volume of traffic will fall from Q to Q1 and price will increase from P to P1; the net social gain from saved congestion costs is shown by triangle ABC. However, since it is almost impossible to calculate exact price for all the costs, it would be very difficult to achieve such situation.
Another problem with this charging scheme is that instead congestions on smaller roads might appear where drivers have to pay fewer taxes and as these small roads usually increase journey, more time will be lost and more delays might occur.
Moreover, there is an ethical issue about the scheme of having electronic tags in each car since every car will be under control by government which can spy all your journeys. (Big Brother problem)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

something about tfl =)))

Transport for London is a huge programme carried out in London in order to improve it’s transport infrastructure. This investment project is aimed in five years make some improvements in different types of transport, make green types of transport more attractive and move to sustainable transport system that is a system that makes contribution to the environmental, economic and social sustainability.
Fall in 6,4 % in August due to recession brought many problems into the whole transport system which was planned ahead. This decline in demand for underground might be caused by switching to it’s cheaper substitutes or by fall in income.
Decline in revenue due to decrease in demand for underground complicated questions of TFL funding as they wouldn’t receive the same amount of money and so will have to find other ways of finding money for their project. Managers of TFL project will have to work hard in order to raise demand for underground even if there is a recession. Peter Hendy, London's transport commissioner, said "Revenue is not where we expect it to be in this year's budget. A decline in revenues now will also have a budgetary effect in the years to come".
As there is a fall in Tfl finances, managers of it cannot be sure whether it will be possible to end the programme in five years and make all the changes that were planned to do. In order to have an adequate Tfl has to either increase number of passengers or raise prices for tickets. However, Tfl have very pessimistic expectations about the former, while the pressure on fares will be and prices for tickets might increase by almost 6% next year already if number of passengers remain the same.
Also Tfl will have to continue to seek reductions in costs of improving infrastructure and remain efficient and useful.
Another consequence of this decline in revenue might be that some constructions which are already started will have to be delayed in continuing and so possibly create traffic jams or increase time spend on the way to work for people and thereby they would be more tired and annoyed, and thereby lose concentration.
Because of decline in demand for underground Tfl is not sure whether demand will rise again and if it rises, how much and so it is difficult to plan how many trains will be needed and how other types of transport have to be improved; whether buses will be more demanded rather than underground or not.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

High Speed Rails.

High speed rail is a kind of transport which is much faster than usual trains and their average speed is about 200 km/h and faster. High Speed Rail has many advantages over other types of transport. First of all, it is called to be environmentally friendly and green transport due to a lower consumption of energy per person, big capacity, reduced land usage and also smaller amount of carbon dioxide emissions.
Also when we compare High Speed Rail service with other types of transport such as car, trains, the former has advantage in being much faster and connecting city centers, while trains or aircrafts usually stop outside the city and passengers will have to find ways of getting the town after their plane/train. This advantage increases demand for rails and make them more convenient rather than others.
Besides, there is no need to book and buy ticket beforehand usually, so if one decides to go somewhere he easily can use rails without any reservations. Also some rails allow standing passengers in comparison to planes or buses where only sitting passengers are allowed and this increases capacity of high speed rails. However, on the other hand there is a big disadvantages of using rails when we compare them to private cars, because in your own car you can do whatever you want and change your destination or plans anytime, while in rails if you forget something, it would be difficult to come back then find another rail. The same is with other types of public transport.
In terms of safety, High speed rails are less likely to have different accidents as they are much simpler in controlling due to their predictable course, however it is not 100% safe transport.
Another advantage which we can find in use of High Speed Rails is that they are not so dependable on weather as planes of cars. In businesses’ point of view, High Speed Rails are convenient types of transport since they don’t require going through customs, or repeated checking baggage and highly time-reliable as they usually depart and arrive on time. Also they allow use of mobile phones or internet, while planes not.
When we talk about costs of High Speed Rails it is obvious that this types of transport is more expensive in comparison to buses for example as they require to create the whole modern transport system, also even if they are green transport, they create negative externalities the same with other types of transport: air and noise pollution.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Thank you very much Chris for the knowledge you gave me this year and for everything else =)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Saturday, 16 May 2009

mock exam(will continue later)

1.(a)Explain what is meant by material deprivation.
Material deprivation is lack of money and things that money can buy.
(b)Suggest three reasons why girls and boys often choose different subjects to study.
-Parental expectations – because parents might encourage boys to choose subjects that are more suitable for them in their opinion such as science
-Role models – girls and boys choose subjects according to their parents’ choice
-Stereotyping- because of traditional division of subjects into categories for boys and girls
-Career opportunities- it can be easier for boys to find a job in science, business
(c)Outline some of the current education policies that affect the achievement of social classes
There are many policies exist nowadays that affect achievement of different social classes, however some of them reduce inequalities, and while others widening the gap between classes.
In 1997 when Labor party became the major party, it’s priority was to improve standards of current education and raise attainment of students. Introduction of policy Excellence in Schools, which aimed to encourage young people in deprived inner city areas study and find motivation of going to the higher education, was an example of policies which give equality of opportunities for everyone. Education Action Zones have similar aim as they were located in deprived areas to increase attainment of students by running extra classes and activities. These zones were replaced by more successful program Excellence in Cities which was funded by individuals, businesses, government and aimed to raise achievement in deprived areas by replacing poorly performing schools and providing more school places where necessary. Another policy Education Maintenance Allowance gave opportunity for students from poor backgrounds to continue education as they were given bonuses for good attainment and progress in education.
However other policies weren’t so successful as they made the situation with class inequalities even worse. Current policies reflect New Right ideas of marketisation of education and introduction of grant maintained schools, which were partly independent from government and they could choose their specialization, publication of exam results and creating league tables increased opportunity for parents to choose the schools for children. However, as Stephen Ball argued, marketisation of education put middle class children into advantage. League tables were aimed to increase competition between schools and encourage them to raise standards, however parents by looking at league table would choose the school with higher results while those schools in inner city areas where population mostly consists of people from working class will lose its popularity since pupils from poor background are not so concerned about education. Introduction of National Vocational Qualificationst aimed to provide training courses and vocational education for young people and raise skill levels in a wide range of jobs. This gave opportunities for working class students instead of going into higher education, get qualification and find a job. However, as Marxists- sociologists argued, this vocational training provide cheap labour with low skills and helps only in lowering unemployment statistics. And also as Lee claimed vocational education is for the less able people which channels them into low status and low paid jobs.
As we can see, some policies are useful while others can make achievement of some group of people even worse, however marketisation of education have many advantages and reflects increased diversity of young people in the modern life.
(d)Asses the view that ethnic differences in achievement are primarily the result of home backgrounds.
Hmm, we wrote about that last lesson.

2. Asses the strengths and limitations of unstructured interviews for the study of teachers’ attitudes.
Unstructured interviews are those interviews where questions are less likely to be pre set, though the researcher usually have a certain topic to cover and just discuss it with the interviewee by asking about appeared details.
Interpretevists are in favour of unstructured interviews since they achieve validity. This type of interviews allow the interviewee express himself in his own words without any limitations in answers and the interviewer have opportunity to ask any questions he wants which helps him to get data in depth. When investigating teachers’ attitudes about towards pupils, unstructured interview may help to establish rapport since teachers are used to “putting on an act in front of pupils” and not telling their real thoughts. That’s why in this case structured interviews may reduce validity of answers as teachers due to their occupations are good in hiding emotions and being formal.
Positivists reject unstructured interviews since it is almost impossible to replicate them. Every interview is unique, the interviewer might ask any questions when exploring the topic and so this data will be unreliable. Also unstructured interviews can not be pre-coded which makes them to be uncomparable, and it is more difficult to generalize the data. Positivists argue that structured interviews could give more reliable data and study larger sample.
When researching teacher using unstructured interviews, researchers will be able to study only small amount of people as each interview takes time, this reduces possibility of having a representative sample if researcher studies particular school where for example there are more modernistic teachers who try to be equal for everyone and don’t show their attitudes towards a particular student. Also there are might be ethical issues and teacher has to be guaranteed of anonymity and be fully informed about the aim of the interview as it might affect his reputation and pupils’ expectations.
Unstructured interviews in some cases might not produce expected result with teachers, because people of this occupation are usually over-worked and will not be happy to spend a lot of time for interview which lowers the response rate. In this case, structured interviews might be more helpful as they take less time and teacher will not be asked extra questions.
One of the advantages of unstructured interviews is that they give opportunity for the interviewer to use non-directive or directive approach. For some teachers direct and aggressive interviewing techniques will be more useful as they give more valid information. Teachers are skilled in controlling their emotions and behavior and as Howard Becker showed in his interview with teachers, aggressive approach helped in finding attitudes and reasons for prejudice of some pupils. This information teacher would not give as volunteer.r
Oh, I will continue later. I don’t know why but it is really hard to think now(