Road Congestion Pricing in Europe
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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.
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Chapter 12: Inter-Urban Road Goods Vehicle Pricing in Europe

Chris Nash, Batool Menaz and Bryan Matthews


Chris Nash, Batool Menaz and Bryan Matthews* 1 INTRODUCTION The European Commission has long been concerned that distortions in charges for transport infrastructure use could distort competition between road hauliers based in different countries and more broadly between the economies of countries as a whole. Following on from the Green Paper of 1995 (CEC, 1995), the European Commission has sought to achieve a closer relationship between transport prices and the marginal social cost of transport. Because of its importance in European economics, heavy goods vehicle (HGV) charges have formed a central part of this policy (CEC, 2001) while charging for the private car is left as a matter for the member states. It is widely recognised that existing charges do not adequately reflect these costs. Annual licence fees may vary with the characteristics of the vehicle but not with where and when it is used, while the relationship between fuel tax and vehicle use is driven by technological rather than economic factors. The Eurovignette, which came into force in some European countries in the 1990s, is a time-based user charge, while the tolls which exist on motorways in some countries are usually more concerned with raising finance than with reflecting costs. A distance-based user charge is generally seen as a better solution to the problem of reflecting the costs, and a number of countries have now introduced such a system. Section 2 looks at the new Eurovignette directive which was agreed late in 2005. Section 3...

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