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Road Congestion Pricing in Europe

Road Congestion Pricing in Europe

Implications for the United States

Edited by Harry W. Richardson and Chang-Hee Christine Bae

In February 2003, the London Congestion Charging Scheme was introduced and in 2006 a similar policy was introduced in Stockholm. In both cases automobile traffic entering the cordon declined by about 20 percent. This book evaluates these and other similar programs exploring their implications for the United States. This study’s value lies in the fact that it examines road pricing in the real world and not simply from a theoretical viewpoint. As a comparative study it will appeal to both policymakers and academics in transportation economics and planning, urban economics, planning and economic geography.

Chapter 10: The Effects of the London Congestion Charging Scheme on Ambient Air Quality

Kenny Ho and David Maddison

Subjects: economics and finance, transport, environment, transport, urban and regional studies, transport


10. The effects of the London Congestion Charging Scheme on ambient air quality Kenny Ho and David Maddison 1 INTRODUCTION Congestion charging is a form of road pricing which involves defining area, such as the central business district or a greater metropolitan area, and charging motorists as they enter that area. Such a pricing scheme has been introduced in several international cities, such as those in Singapore, Norway and Sweden. The main objective of these and related schemes is to reduce traffic congestion by raising travel costs. Such a scheme, however, also brings an indirect benefit by improving ambient air quality. Our main focus in this chapter is to evaluate the impact of the London Congestion Charging Scheme (LCCS) on the ambient air quality in the capital. Motor vehicle emissions contribute to five major pollutants: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10). We use the concentration of PM10 as our air pollution index because clinically it is one of the most important pollutants in vehicle exhaust emissions. Many researchers have linked it to various health problems, especially respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. Long-term exposure to fine particles can cause premature death from heart and lung disease, and even lung cancer. It has been estimated that PM10 concentrations are associated with approximately 8,100 deaths and 10,500 hospital admissions nationally each year. The UK government recommends that air pollution standards should be based on...

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