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 15: Transport Infrastructure Pricing: A European Perspective

Chris Nash


Chris Nash1 15.1 INTRODUCTION It is now 10 years since the European Commission put forward proposals to base transport infrastructure pricing on sound economic principles including the internalization of externalities. In that time there has been much activity in terms of research, proposals and debate, but actual achievement in terms of pricing reform has been slow. The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of progress on European Union (EU) transport pricing policy, and of the research to which it has led. We shall concentrate on road and rail transport, as the modes on which legislative activity has centred. The next section outlines the development of the policy. We then consider current legislation on rail and road infrastructure charges. Following this, we discuss reasons for the lack of progress, before considering research on these issues, and finally reach our conclusions. 15.2 DEVELOPMENT OF EC POLICY European Commission policy is built on the principle of subsidiarity, which means broadly that issues should be left to the member states unless there is good reason for dealing with them at the European level. Thus, historically, the European interest in infrastructure charging has come from a wish to establish principles that avoid unfair competition. Unfair competition could arise in a number of ways: the most blatant form comprises charging transport operators different amounts for use of the infrastructure according to where they are registered, and this has been a concern particularly in road haulage. More generally, a failure to charge appropriately...

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