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O N E S T E P F O RWA R D , T W O S T E P S B A C K ? 75 hypothecated for at least 10 years and thus addressed a rings): those in Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim, Stavenger, and key concern in public attitude surveys (Jones et al. 1996); Kristiansand. However, recently discussions have taken and it established congestion charging as a potentially place concerning the modification of the current toll central element in an integrated strategy (May and financing schemes to congestion charging schemes in Roberts 1995). Initially almost 30 local authorities Bergen, Oslo, and Trondheim. expressed interest and joined the government's Charging The Bergen toll ring was introduced in 1986 with the Development Partnership. However, outside London aim of directly raising finance for completing the only four or five remain interested, partly because the planned road system. In 1990 the capital city of Norway, government has recently appeared less supportive and Oslo, also introduced an urban toll ring, to finance a partly because it has been more willing to provide alter- new tunnel under the city center. The implementation of native funding for public transport schemes that might the tolls in both cases was timed to coincide with the have been financed from hypothecated revenues. Durham opening of the new tunnel and bypass projects financed introduced a single point charge on a sensitive road lead- by the toll revenues. In 1992 a toll ring was implemented ing to the cathedral in 2002 and achieved a 90% reduc- in Trondheim, which has been gradually developed over tion in traffic. Bristol is developing proposals for a single the years since its introduction. An "amputated" toll ring cordon, although recent changes in political control have with only two toll plazas was in operation from 1992 to raised questions over their development. Edinburgh has 1996 in Kristiansand. A new package and toll charge recently confirmed its proposals for a scheme with two period were recently agreed on to fund the construction cordons, one around the center and the other inside the of the new trunk road (E18) and two tunnels through outer ring road, and a charge of 2 ($3) to cross either or Kristiansand. In 2001 Stavanger implemented a city toll both; these will be the subject of a referendum in 2004. ring. The toll will be in operation for 10 years to finance London's implementation of congestion charging in Feb- the new road and other transport projects. Table 1 sum- ruary 2003 has, of course, eclipsed all these develop- marizes the characteristics of the schemes in these five ments. We will not describe it further here, since it is the cases. subject of later presentations. However, it is worth Given the original objective of raising revenues, the recording that its design and impacts are remarkably sim- lower toll level in all schemes only reduced the traffic ilar to the proposals for supplementary licensing 30 years slightly (6% to 7% for Bergen, 3% to 4% in Oslo, and ago, with two notable exceptions: operating costs have 10% in Trondheim during the charged periods). Origi- proved to be a much higher proportion of revenues, nally, in Bergen the toll revenues collected were only which substantially reduces the finance available for used for road projects. A new agreement was reached in other transport projects; and, crucially, the scheme has 2002 for maintaining the toll ring system until 2011, been implemented, while those of 1964, 1967, and 1974 with the basic toll levels increased to 15 NKr from 2004 gather dust on the shelves. onward (which coincides with the implementation of While most of the interest in the United Kingdom has electronic collection), only 45% of the revenues being inevitably focused on urban congestion charging, recent allocated to road investment, and the scheme being refo- reports have advocated the use of distance-based cused as a congestion charging system. In Oslo, Trond- charges nationally on congested roads, offset by the heim, Kristiansand, and Stavanger, the revenues will abolition of the annual vehicle tax and some reduction help finance road projects, public transport improve- in fuel taxes (Commission for Integrated Transport ment, and other safety instruments. New toll ring 2002). A system of this kind is scheduled to come into schemes are also under way. In 2003 the Namdal proj- operation for commercial vehicles in 2006, and a gov- ect (in the city of Namso) started; it is claimed to be the ernment field trial of the technology, based in Leeds, is smallest toll ring in the world (only two toll points). expected to start shortly after some considerable delay. Tnsberg will decide on the introduction of a toll ring by 2004. The toll ring system in Norway is currently at a cross- Norway road. Most of the projects around the country were orig- inally initiated to finance major local transport schemes In Norway road pricing has long been used as a supple- (mostly road transport infrastructure). The agreements mentary fiscal instrument to raise finance for road proj- for many existing schemes are near their end or already ects. Currently, 25% of the total annual budget for road terminated (the case in Bergen). A decision on the future construction in Norway comes from the road pricing of the toll rings has to be made. At the national level in schemes around the country (Odeck and Brathen 2002). Norway a new law on tolling and road pricing has just Most of the road pricing schemes impose tolls on par- been sanctioned by Parliament. Through this law, road ticular sections of trunk roads, tunnels, or bridges. Only user charging is accepted as a means both for revenue five of them are urban charging cordon schemes (or toll raising and for demand management, but the two objec-