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82 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 Most effort has been put into the design, develop- factors are influencing acceptability, and much of the ment, and implementation of urban road pricing. How- research has focused on these factors. One of the clear- ever, with the exceptions of London and Singapore, no est is the question of hypothecation; among the surveys, significant scheme has yet been successful. This remains average acceptance was 35% where there was no the least effective area of policy development, and it is hypothecation and 55% where there was. important to understand the barriers to progress. The Numerous studies illustrate the critical impact of most widespread is political unacceptability, but con- hypothecation on acceptability. Jones (1998) concluded, cerns are also raised about equity and economic "Most professional and governmental bodies in the UK impacts; indeed, these underpin many of the wider con- now accept that hypothecation of revenues will be part cerns about acceptability. To a much smaller extent, the of the price that will have to be paid to gain sufficient feasibility of pricing and of the supporting technology public support for urban road pricing to ensure its intro- and the potential presented by that technology for inva- duction in this country." There is, however, inconsis- sion of privacy remain concerns. There is a growing tency across the results of different studies. Some have interest in the design of alternative charging regimes and found that the greatest impact is obtained from spend- their integration with other policy instruments as ways ing on improved public transport, while in others it is of overcoming these concerns. All of these issues have investment in the road network and in yet others it is been the subject of research, and we consider these reduction in taxes. research results further in the next section. Acceptability has been found to be influenced by atti- As in North America, there has been widespread use tudes to transport problems and the perceived effective- of toll highways as a means of financing the roads them- ness of the scheme (PATS Consortium 2001). It is also selves. Uniquely, Norway has taken this principle and influenced by attitudes relating to the environment and applied it to the existing infrastructure by using toll toward the hazards of car traffic. Those who are con- rings to pay for new infrastructure. This has clearly been cerned about the quality of the environment and nega- successful in Norway, but no other country has imple- tive effects from traffic are more likely to accept mented similar financing strategies. Norway is now fac- charging than others. On the contrary, those for whom ing the question of the future of these toll rings once the car has positive images tend to oppose charging. they have generated the necessary revenues. It has been Some people use their cars because they enjoy doing so accepted that they might continue to be used to finance rather than through necessity, which leads to resistance further (usually public transport) projects and to reduce to policies aimed at reducing car use (Steg and Tertoolen congestion. However, it is as yet unclear whether toll 1999). rings designed for one purpose are necessarily suitable Other attitudinal aspects of acceptability relate to for another and very different purpose. perceptions of freedom and fairness (Jones 1998; PATS The third and most recent development has been the Consortium 2001) and concerns over equity issues (Giu- interest in using distance charging to manage congestion liano 1992; Langmyhr 1997). Indeed, a distinction can and to charge more appropriately for road use on be made between selfish and social perspectives. An interurban road networks. The German system for interesting point about congestion was observed by charging heavy commercial vehicles will be the first such Sheldon et al. (1993), who stated "no-one appears will- scheme, and the United Kingdom is likely to follow in ing to accept that they contribute to the problem: it is 2006. At present it appears that it will be another decade typically something that is caused by someone else." before such controls are imposed on all traffic. Nonetheless, Rienstra et al. (1999) recognize that social concerns do influence preferences toward road pricing, while Schade and Schlag (2000) identified social norms RESEARCH ISSUES as important. Acceptability is likely to relate to personal character- Acceptability istics and constraints, which may include income, age, education, transport mode used, frequency of car use, A large number of surveys of attitudes toward road pric- availability and quality of alternative modes, location of ing have been carried out since the 1980s, particularly household and workplace, household type, and lifestyle. in the United Kingdom. This summary is taken from a However, it is clear from a number of studies (Schade fuller review available from the authors (Jaensirisak et and Schlag 2000) that socioeconomic factors have a al. 2003b) that provides a full list of references. Selected somewhat lesser impact on acceptability than do attitu- references are cited below. dinal factors. A total of 29 surveys in the United Kingdom between The importance of the communication process to 1989 and 2002 found levels of public acceptance of acceptability--making clear the main objectives, road pricing ranging from 8% to 76%. Clearly, other addressing public concerns, and spelling out the bene-