Utility and neccessity: assessing costs and benefits (English summary)
Unlike previously, the CBA is not conducted twice – in the assessment stage and in the planning study – but rather once, at the end of the assessment stage, which serves as a foundation for the preferred alternative. The research load in the assessment stages is reduced, by only assessing the most promising solutions (preferably a maximum of three) which are selected based on less detailed information on costs and benefits. Time savings are also achieved by harmonising research (transport, noise, etc). This prevents double work.
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The information that is essential for arriving at decisions quickly varies per project. A cost-benefit analysis is flexible. Depending on the particular needs, the scope can vary from a ‘back of a napkin’ calculation to a comprehensive analysis that includes substantial project-specific research. Through an early identification of key costs factors, revenues and uncertainties, a cost-benefit analysis can improve the quality of the decision-making. This way decisions are made more robust and subsequent delays in decision-making processes are prevented.