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Road pricing and effect on urban freight

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom ZunderORCiD


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Traffic congestion across European cities is a serious problem that is very unlikely to be solved by adding more road capacity. Following the shifting focus from the supply side to the demand side, the present paper introduces congestion charging as an efficient measure to improve urban mobility and reduce transport emissions through an adequate management of the available capacity. The theoretical foundation of the pricing mechanism involved and the relations with the EU transport and energy policy guidelines and directives are reviewed. Several trends are analysed in detail to support the need for an efficient and major policy as congestion charging, among them the following: the still growing EU urban population which is expected to make passenger transport demand grow until more than 40% above the 1990 levels, the estimations by the UK government of almost 90% of the road congestion costs due to urban traffic whilst only representing 20% of the total vehicles-km travelled, and finally, the 40 million people residing in EU cities suffering significant poor air quality. In the second part of the paper we review BESTUFS research on the state of implementation of this measure across EU member states, making clear that there exist currently different applications based on differing conceptual bases; demand management, revenue generation, emission control etc. The paper details the varied political and business controversy following the measure. Special attention is paid to the UK case, where the initial successful implementation of London Congestion Charging has led the government to consider a national charging strategy. Finally, conclusions about the need of a steady vision on the measure are reached, making clear that any money collected from the roads will have to be use for the benefit of road traffic in the urban environment and therefore for the cities as a whole.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zunder TH; Ibanez JN

Editor(s): Marchettini, N., Brebbia, C.A., Tiezzi, E., Wadhwa, L.C.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The Sustainable City III: Urban Regeneration and Sustainability

Year of Conference: 2004

Pages: 633-642

ISSN: 1368-1435

Publisher: WIT Press

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Advances in Architecture

ISBN: 9781853127205