Pricing in Road Transport
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Pricing in Road Transport

A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective

Edited by Erik Verhoef, Michiel Bliemer, Linda Steg and Bert van Wee

Transport pricing is high on the political agenda throughout the world, but as the authors illustrate, governments seeking to implement this often face challenging questions and significant barriers. The associated policy and research questions cannot always be addressed adequately from a mono-disciplinary perspective. This book shows how a multi-disciplinary approach may lead to new types of analysis and insights, contributing to a better understanding of the intricacies of transport pricing and eventually to a potentially more effective and acceptable design of such policies. The study addresses important policy and research themes such as the possible motives for introducing road transport pricing and potential conflicts between these motives, behavioural responses to transport pricing for households and firms, the modelling of transport pricing, and the acceptability of pricing.
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Chapter 3: Behavioural Responses of Freight Transporters and Shippers to Road-User Charging Schemes: An Empirical Assessment

David Hensher and Sean Puckett


3. Behavioural responses of freight transporters and shippers to roaduser charging schemes: an empirical assessment1 David Hensher and Sean Puckett 3.1 INTRODUCTION Congestion charging is recognised as an effective instrument in responding to the concerns about high levels of traffic congestion. Although the economic arguments have been known for decades and the technological capability is now widely available, the last bastion of constraint: namely, political will, is starting to move in support of implementation. The London experience (Transport for London, 2003; Evans, 2005) is being used as a catalyst for a broader recognition of what can be done without a political backlash in a Western democratic society. The adage ‘it is not a matter of if but of when’ seems to be the prevailing view in a growing number of jurisdictions, Stockholm2 being the most recent (for a review, see Hensher and Puckett, 2005b, 2007a). The problem of congested roads is expected to get considerably worse over the coming years. While this places traffic congestion high on government agendas, it does not mean that pricing will also be high on the agenda as a way to reduce traffic levels. Yet freight companies have much to gain from less congested roads in terms of opportunity costs, including the number of vehicles required to achieve a specific task set. Less congested roads would also have an indirect benefit for the recruitment of drivers. Indirect road-use charges via fuel taxes are remotely linked to use of congested...

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