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Optimizing the benefits of urban road user charging

Hyman, G. & Mayhew, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-0380-1757 (2002). Optimizing the benefits of urban road user charging. Transport Policy, 9(3), pp. 189-207. doi: 10.1016/s0967-070x(02)00012-4


Traffic congestion is a feature of most modern cities but attempts to control it or limit its effects have met with only modest success. There is significant and continuing interest in the concept of charging city vehicle users, although apart from the use of parking charges actual operational schemes are few and far between. In this paper we compare three alternative charging policies using a simplified model of travel demand and supply, which we combine with cost benefit techniques. The charging policies are area-based charging in which users pay to locate in or enter an area, terminal-charging based on supplementary parking fees in residential and non-residential locations and distance-based charging which is a charge related to how far users travel. The model allows for behavioural effects resulting from trip diversion and demand suppression, as well as capacity restraint (speed-flow feedback effects based on limited route capacity). In the case study we parameterize the model using data and geographical dimensions based on London. We show that area based charging delivers the least benefits whilst a hybrid policy based on terminal and distance based charges delivers the most. Because it is of topical interest we compare our results and predictions with the Mayor’s strategy for London, which is an area-based scheme. We conclude that the revenue generated using a hybrid policy would be as great as for an area based scheme whilst at the same time delivering substantially greater benefits to road users in terms of travel time and other savings.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2002, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Road user charging, City congestion, Route choice model, User benefits, Revenues
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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