Fixed Link across Fehmarn Belt 1990

The economic evaluation of a fixed link across Fehmarn Belt is carried out in principle by applying the model previously developed for Scandinavian Link for evaluation of infrastrueture projects in Scandinavia. Modifications of the model have been introduced, and data have been updated to the latest available year, 1987. The zonal system, however, has been maintained in the present study.

The Fehmarn Belt fixed link is assumed to be constructed in the period from 2000 to 2005, which means that the fixed link is open to traffic from 2006. Traffic forecasts have been produced for 2000 and 2020, but the economic evaluation has been extended to cover the period up to 2030.

Data used for the present study have been based on similar data for the former study. However, in many respects data have been extended to describe the current transport situation around the Baltic in a more comprehensive manner than before. This applies especially to network and cost data. Also a special. effort has been devoted to collate data from West German sources, this providing new and detailed information particularly on the traffic flows across the Baltic, originating in or destined for West Germany. 1984 traffic flows for goods and passengers have been updated to 1987 level based on available statistics from the statistical bureaus in the Nordic countries.

Comprehensive data for ferry routes have been available, and this information has been used to adjust and improve the former developed traffic model for Scandinavian Link. Apart from comprehensive traffic statistics for each route included in the survey, data has also been made available to a certain extent as to fares, rebates and capacities on each route. Further a few ferry operators have disclosed their accounts, thus making it possible to evaluate operating costs for different type of ferries, which are of major importance in evaluating the overall economic effect of the provision of fixed links. 

The traffic model for Scandinavian Link consists of three separate submodels:

  • A growth factor model which can forecast the total number of passenger trips and commodity flows to a specified future year.
  • A modal split model which can distribute the total traffic between transport modes and
  • An assignment model , which distributes the trips or commodity flows on either a road network or a rail network. 

The formerly developed automated modal split model was based on a statistical analysis of data, aggregated to a degree, which makes the modal split model dubious. It has therefore been decided to base the modal split in the current work on less automated procedures. For passenger traffic it means that passenger trips by road and rail are forecast independent of each other, i.e. there are no automated modal transfers in the model if one mode of transport is improved markedly over another mode of transport. For commodity flows the forecasts are based on the assumption that the modal split for each commodity group observed in 1987 will remain unchanged in the future. However, an automated procedure has been developed in order to transfer goods from rail to road or vice versa if one of the transport modes is improved considerably over the other.

The traffic assignment model has been adjusted to take into account observed fares and out of pocket costs. This in turn makes the assignment model sensitive to important supply parameters like toll rates applicable to the fixed links. All the calculations presented in, however, are based on. the assumption that tolls on the fixed links will correspond to the fare applicable to the ferry route the fixed link is supposed to replace.

The forecasts are based on assumptions for expected passenger traffic growth from 1987 up to 2000 and 2020. It is expected that passenger traffic by road will increase with only 1 - 2 per cent per year, whereas passenger traffic by rail is expected to grow at a considerably higher rate.

The relatively high growth rates for rail services can be justified with the major investment programmes being carried out in many European countries, including the Scandinavian countries, with the purpose of increasing travel speed between major urban centers in Europe. lt is believed that these investments will attract many particularly international travellers. At the same time there is a growing demand in several European countries for imposing restrictions on road traffic due to congestion and protection of the environment. This may justify the considerably lower growth rates applied for car traffic. However the long term technological development and research may eventually result in completely new cars and ways of driving, which in turn could lead to a renewed increase in the growth of road traffic. However, these trends have not been dealt with in this study. 

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