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74 I N T E R N AT I O N A L P E R S P E C T I V E S O N R O A D P R I C I N G POLICY DEVELOPMENTS much as in Singapore, with the costs of operation accounting for around 15% of revenues. It was pre- United Kingdom dicted to have reduced car traffic entering the center by 45% and vehicle kilometers within the area by 35% and The United Kingdom has perhaps the longest program to have increased speed within the area by 40%. The of research into road pricing but had, until the recently impacts outside the area were predicted to be small but introduced schemes in Durham and London, little to positive. The proposal came close to being accepted by show for some 40 years of research. GLC, which would then have had to seek legislation The first major study, the Smeed Report of 1964 from government, which was thinking along similar (Ministry of Transport 1964), was a model for much lines in its transport white paper (Department of Envi- subsequent research. It set out clearly the congestion ronment 1976). Unfortunately, GLC decided not to pur- problem to be tackled (with its simple rule of thumb sue the proposal, mainly because of concerns over that at 10 mph each driver was imposing time losses on equity implications and impacts on the economy. Simi- others equal to twice his own travel time), the inade- lar proposals emerged at the same time for Bristol and quacy of alternatives to pricing, the criteria for design of York, but this was a high point in the development of an effective scheme, and the technologies available at road pricing, not to be regained for another 20 years. the time. Its nine design criteria merit repeating here as The reemergence of interest in road pricing in the an aid for today's designers: 1990s stemmed from a growing realization that "pre- dict and provide" policies were unlikely to succeed and 1. Charges should be closely related to the amount of a renewed interest in integrated transport strategies as a use made of the roads. solution to urban problems (May and Roberts 1995). 2. It should be possible to vary prices for different Several cities, including London, Edinburgh (May et al. areas; times of day, week, or year; and classes of vehicle. 1992), Bristol, and Leicester, conducted integrated 3. Prices should be stable and readily ascertainable transport studies that demonstrated the benefits of road by road users before they embark on a journey. pricing as a means of controlling demand and financing 4. Payment in advance should be possible, although other strategy elements, as discussed further below. credit facilities may also be permissible. However, it was the national government that commis- 5. The incidence of the system on individual road sioned the next major study, of London congestion users should be accepted as fair. charging, in 1992 (Richards et al. 1996). This again was 6. The method should be simple for road users to comprehensive in its coverage, with investigations of understand. alternative schemes, potential technologies, administra- 7. Any equipment should possess a high degree of tive and enforcement arrangements, and overall costs reliability. and benefits. It was recommended that charges be 8. It should be reasonably free from the possibility of imposed for passing points in the road network or for fraud and evasion, both deliberate and unintentional. being within a defined area. The previous proposals for 9. It should be capable of being applied, if necessary, a cordon around central London were reexamined. A to the whole country and to a vehicle population charge of 10 ($15) per crossing was predicted to reduce expected to rise to over 30 million. traffic in the area by 25%, increase speeds by 32%, and generate revenues of around 400 million ($600 mil- The Smeed Report was closely followed by a practi- lion) per year. The most complex scheme studied, with cal study of the relative merits of road pricing and park- three cordons and four radial screenlines, was predicted ing controls in London, Better Use of Town Roads to have a similar impact in the center but also to (Ministry of Transport 1967), which argued clearly for improve speeds in inner London by 10% and to gener- a simple form of road pricing within a cordon identical ate almost twice as much revenue and three times the to that now in operation. The Greater London Council economic benefits (May et al. 1996b). (GLC), which had been formed in 1965, developed this This study had been commissioned, but was not acted proposal further in a scheme entitled Supplementary upon, by the last Conservative government. It was part of Licensing (Greater London Council 1974; May 1975). the evidence used by the incoming Labor government to Its preferred scheme was a charge of around 5 ($7.50) decide to provide local authorities with the power to per day in 2003 prices to enter or be within an area implement congestion charging schemes (and taxes on defined by the Inner Ring Road between 0700 and 1900 private parking) and to retain the net revenues for other on weekdays, with a charge of three times that level for transport projects (DETR 1998). This legislation was a commercial vehicles and exemptions for buses, taxis, breakthrough on three counts: it passed the initiative to disabled drivers, and emergency vehicles. It would have local government, albeit with a requirement for approval used prepurchased licenses and manual enforcement, by the central government; it allowed revenues to be