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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 ? 87 and increase average trip lengths. Larger cordons can oped, which involved differing levels of infrastructure also have boundary effects, though if they are large investment, road space reallocation, fares, and road enough they have little adverse effect on those residing pricing, with revenues from the latter hypothecated to in the area. A simple increase in fuel tax was 84% as finance the former. Two were high-cost strategies effective as the first-best system. This simple system involving roundly similar financial outlay, one with and would be easy to implement but would mean adding one without road pricing. At the other extreme, two approximately 1.5 to the price of a liter of fuel. Apply- generated sufficient income to pay for the other ele- ing a smart card distance-based system with a minimum ments of the strategy with again one involving road pric- and maximum charge level of 1 and 4, respectively, ing and the other not. The third pair involved an increases the benefits to 96% of first-best results. intermediate level of finance. Those including road pric- A separate strand of research has compared cordon ing were between 50% and 200% more effective than charges with those involving delay. Behavioral research those without in terms of their net economic benefits; suggests that drivers will be less willing to reroute or their performance was also much less sensitive to the reduce their travel in response to time-based charging level of public finance available. because the charges are variable and hence uncertain. Subsequent research has used optimization tech- Conversely, such responses are stronger with distance- niques to determine the optimal combination of policy based and cordon charges. There is also evidence that instruments in different cities for a given set of policy variable charges induce greater risk-taking by drivers and objectives. An initial study using different transport hence increase accident risk (Bonsall and Palmer 1997). models in nine European cities found that city center The impacts on network performance are very differ- road pricing charges or comprehensive parking charges ent. Distance-based charging proved the most effective in the range 1.6 to 5.0 per day were a key element of in reducing distance traveled and travel times within the the optimal strategy in six of the nine cities, and that in urban areas studied, while delay-based and cordon five of the six cities the resulting strategy was self- charging were the least effective. Distance-based and financing over a 30-year period (May et al. 2000). More time-based charging were equally effective in reducing recent work in four cities, using the same transport the resource costs of travel. However, distance-based model for each, has demonstrated that city center road charging also had the most extreme impacts on route pricing, with peak charges in the range 1.9 to 7.9 per choice, with significant diversion to the uncharged day, is part of the optimal strategy, together with public orbital routes outside the urban area. In all cases the net transport fare reductions and frequency increases impact on vehicle kilometers traveled was small, with (Emberger et al. 2003). reductions within the urban area being offset by increases outside. This argues for charges to be imposed over much wider areas than those often envisaged (May CONCLUSIONS and Milne 2000). Overall, it appears that distance-based charging may Martin Wachs (2005) comments that "road pricing is prove to be more effective and flexible than point-based not quite yet within the mainstream of transport policy charging once the technology is available to implement it. options, but . . . more progress has been made in that Road pricing is increasingly being seen, at least in direction in the last decade than had been made in the European cities, as part of an integrated strategy in preceding 70 years." which individual policy instruments complement one That assessment is clearly borne out in experience another or overcome the barriers to the implementation elsewhere in the world. The past decade has seen the of other instruments. A recent policy review has sug- introduction of electronic road pricing in Singapore and gested that integration can be achieved by reinforcing congestion charging in London; the establishment of the benefits, reducing political and financial barriers, toll cordons in Norway; and a commitment to distance- and compensating losers. It highlights road pricing as based charges in Germany and the United Kingdom, at being able, uniquely, to reinforce the benefits of all other least for HGVs. While elsewhere it has repeated the pat- types of policy instrument, while at the same time gen- tern of proposals for and rejection of urban road pricing erating income to contribute to their costs. It also notes of previous decades, we can at least claim that that that other policy instruments can help to reduce its activity has become more intense, particularly in the political unacceptability and adverse distributional United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, impacts (May 2004). and Hong Kong. An early example of this was the integrated transport Where proposals fail, the barriers to progress remain study for Edinburgh, which indirectly led to the current largely the same: lack of political commitment reinforced road pricing proposals there (May et al. 1992). After by limited public acceptance and concerns about equity, extensive analysis, six possible strategies were devel- economic impacts, and, to a lesser extent, technology.