Performance targets in transport policy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - performance, organisation - performance


The measurement of performance in the public sector has become increasingly important in recent years and it is now commonplace for transport organisations, and local and national governments, to publish performance goals for service supply and quality. Such commitments, when time referenced, are known as targets. This paper, explains how changes in management style, consumer rights legislation, contractual obligations and other factors have combined to make management-by-targets increasingly common in the public sector. The advantages and disadvantages of management-by-targets are illustrated through discussion of the processes and experience of setting transport targets in UK national transport policy. We conclude that while some of the targets have had a significant impact on policy makers, managers and their agents, the effects have not always been as intended.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier. Copyright remains with Elsevier.


Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X