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RESOURCE PAPER One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? An Overview of Road Pricing Applications and Research Outside the United States Anthony D. May and A. Sumalee, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds T his paper is offered as a complement to Martin concept, Norway has introduced an alternative of toll Wachs's review of developments in the United rings, which are implemented on existing highways but States and Canada (Wachs 2005) and aims to are designed to finance new infrastructure. The third is summarize developments in road pricing elsewhere in the more recent development of proposals for distance- the world. This is a substantial challenge, particularly based interurban charging, initially for commercial vehi- because it is being written at a time of rapid develop- cles but potentially for all traffic on congested roads. We ment in the politics of road pricing internationally. We review progress in all of these, starting with Europe and cannot claim to be expert in or wholly up to date in our then considering Asia and finally, briefly, the rest of the understanding of all these developments. What follows world. We have, however, limited ourselves to schemes should therefore be taken as a summary of the general that reflect at least in part the original principles of road context rather than as an accurate account of the cur- pricing; we have not attempted to review the wider field rent state of play internationally. We hope to learn more of toll highway developments. about these developments during the conference and We conclude this international review of policy will update this paper in the light of those findings. In developments with a summary of the state of play. The the meantime, we apologize to anyone whose country's picture presented is one of many proposals but few suc- developments are inaccurately recorded here. cesses, though, as Martin Wachs notes, the potential As Martin Wachs notes, developments outside North for real progress appears greater now than it has America have taken a different route from those he throughout the history of the subject. At the same time describes (Wachs 2005). All can trace their activities back it is clear that there is a recurring set of reasons for fail- to the seminal work of Pigou, Knight, and Vickrey but can ure to make progress: in particular concerns about pub- now be seen as forming three broad groups. The first and lic acceptability but also issues concerning equity, most extensive is the work on road pricing in urban cen- economic impacts, technology, and scheme design. ters. Such pricing is usually based on charging to cross cor- Another characteristic of the differences between prac- dons or to be within them and is designed largely to reduce tice in North America and elsewhere is that many of congestion and protect the environment; the London Con- these issues have been the subject of much more inten- gestion Charging Scheme is the latest and highest- sive research elsewhere in the world. To complement profile outcome of this approach. The second is the devel- our review of policy developments, we therefore sum- opment, as in the United States, of toll highways designed marize key findings from these research programs. We principally to raise revenue to finance the road. While conclude by assessing the potential over the next few countries outside the United States have developed decade and identifying those aspects of the subject area high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes as an extension of this remaining most uncertain. 73