www.curacaoproject.eu                      CURACAO - coordination of urban road-user charging organisational issues                   Funded by the EU

Road Pricing Context

OBJECTIVES

SCHEME DESIGN

TECHNOLOGY

BUSINESS SYSTEMS

Prediction

PREDICTION

TRAFFIC EFFECTS

ENVIRONMENT

ECONOMY

EQUITY

Appraisal

APPRAISAL

Decision Making

ACCEPTABILITY

TRANSFERABILITY

Implementation and Evaluation

EVALUATION

IMPLEMENTATION

Case Studies

Bergen

Bologna

Bristol

Cambridge

Durham

Dutch National Case

Edinburgh

London

Manchester

Milan

Nord-Jaeren

Oslo

Rome

Stockholm

The Hague

Trondheim



Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base

Comparison of EQUITY on our case studies

London

Road Safety


Recent years have seen significant reductions to reported personal injury road traffic collisions, reflecting wider TfL and borough road safety initiatives. TfL estimated that the charging scheme had contributed to an additional reduction of between 40 and 70 collisions involving personal injury per year in the central London charging zone and on the Inner Ring Road over and above what would have been expected from these wider background trends. There was no evidence of disproportionate change to the number of collisions involving two-wheeled vehicles in or around the charging zone that might have been attributable to the traffic impacts of the scheme, with increases to numbers of these vehicles following the introduction of charging.

Perhaps reflecting the lower-than-usual 2005 figures, collisions within the original charging zone in 2006 increased by 6 percent overall, with the largest increase seen during weekends – a 17 percent increase. On the Inner Ring Road, total collisions fell by 6 percent during charging hours but, again, rose at weekends by 9 percent.

Total reported road traffic collisions in Greater London were down by 6 percent on average during 2006, or 8 percent during charging hours. Given effectively stable traffic conditions in the original charging zone these recent changes would appear to largely reflect non-scheme related factors.



As the table below illustrates, the proportion of road traffic collisions involving a pedestrian in the original charging zone remained unchanged from the year before; and pedestrian involvement collisions on the Inner Ring Road were down as both a number and a proportion of all collisions. Within Greater London the proportion of reported collisions involving pedestrians remained steady.



Rome

The equity problem was solved in Rome by the City Council, that decided with some Council Act who is permitted to access the zone and what is the right tariff for the allowed specific category. In Rome such discussion isn’t easy, due to the willing of reducing the access in the central area to an always less number of private cars. As a consequence, the equity issue has been in a way  overborne by the will to increase the cost of the “year permit” for the allowed categories, excluding the public transport and the disabled people.

The establishment of new access gates and the extension of the access control system to the Trastevere and Testaccio districts and the Villa Borghese park, mean that the whole interconnected central area of Rome is now covered, creating the most extended access control system in Europe.

The results expected for these implementations were positive impacts both for transport and environment. What is unexpected is the modified approach of people towards their city, in fact in the process of “participated democracy” before the definitive approval of the plan, the pedestrian mode has been privileged especially in the city Centre, introducing for the first time the concept of “environmental island”, where the maximum speed will be limited to 30 km/h and the bicycle mode will be promoted. Now, a number of pedestrian areas have been established in the city centre, with the large TRIDENTE zone closed from 10 am to 8 pm. It is now possible, at least in some hours of the day, to stroll around the whole city centre without the presence of private traffic, except at some crossings.





Road Safety

A relevant issue is that of the increasing traffic congestion due to the high number of two-wheelers. The current road pricing scheme has exacerbated the problem. In order to tackle the phenomenon, Rome assessed the Best Available Technology (BAT) to detect two-wheelers access but the conclusion was to limit access only on the basis of emission criteria (Euro 0 two-wheelers are not allowed to enter the Rail Ring area, and some restriction are also applied to Euro 1 two-wheelers).

On the other hand, road safety problem is increasing. Motorcycles circulating in Rome are 360,000 (55,000 pre-Euro) and mopeds 155,000 (70,000 pre-Euro). Within the city centre it can be estimated a volume of circulating two-wheelers equal to 250,000.

The powered two-wheelers have positive aspects, like having the possibility to access any city zone and parking without problems. On the other way round there are more driving risks, they cause pollution and noise and they often improperly use the public space. As a result, during LTZ restriction period, the number of circulating two-wheelers is higher than of four-wheelers.



Results in terms of road safety show that the ratio between the number of powered two wheels accidents (PTW) and total accidents has increased during the last years.



The improvement of PTW road safety can be achieved not with the implementation of road pricing schemes for two-wheelers. Nevertheless is necessary to create a “Motorbikes Road Safety Working Group” within the Municipalities in order to have a better comprehension of motorbike accidents (reconstruction of accidents dynamics, causes, drivers behaviour); to develop different actions for reducing “Risk Spots” by removing holes and glittering stones from the asphalt; to envisage a better education and training courses for drivers, to use awareness campaigns and Urban Police road safety campaigns, as well as the multiplier effect of the networks like IMPACTS, that has a dedicated motorbike working group (Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Geneva). Last but not the least, it has to be mentioned the so-called eSUM (European Safer Urban Motorcycling) project, co-financed by DG TREN, that should permit a constant reduction in PTW accidents achieved by addressing PTW safety with an integrated European approach. The cooperation is expected to be performed between Cities (Barcelona, Paris, London, Rome) and Industries (BMW, Piaggio, ACEM). eSUM best practices will then be transferred to cities across Europe. In the , the time series of PTW accidents and fatalities in the mentioned European cities (including Rome) are shown.



Stockholm

Regarding equity, a large percentage of drivers in the county paid the congestion tax at least occasionally. During an investigated two-week period F, nearly half of all privately owned cars in Stockholm paid congestion tax at least once. However, most of them paid only small amounts. Only 4% of the county’s vehicles – which corresponds to 1.2% of the county’s residents – accumulated a total cost of SEK 200 (€20) or more during the studied two-week period. 

That small group accounted for one third of all revenues generated by privately owned vehicles. It is thus clear that the congestion charging in Stockholm has a potential for redistributing substantial resources between individuals.

But what about average effects on a group level? Did some categories of citizens (defined by f ex household type, income, or residential area) suffer “unfairly” large negative consequences from the charging scheme? To study this issue, equity effects were analyzed in terms of how different categories of inhabitants were affected with respect to direct road-user effects of the congestion tax. Direct effects include changes in travel time, costs of paid congestion tax and costs of adaptation (sacrifices in travel due to the congestion tax).1]

Looking only at the direct road-user effects – changes in travel time and increases in travel costs – all studied groups experience an economic loss (on average). Examining the level of loss for different groups on average, it was concluded that

  • Residents of the inner city and Lidingö lost about twice as much as residents of other areas
  • Households with high discretionary income paid nearly three times as much as households with low discretionary income
  • Employed people paid about three times as much congestion tax as non-employed
  • Men lost nearly twice as much as women
  • Households with children paid more congestion tax and households with two adults pay more congestion tax (per person)

Statistically, one was thus “hardest hit” by the congestion tax if one was an affluent, employed male living in a household with two adults and children in the inner city or Lidingö.

Inner city residents gained the least travel time but paid second-highest amount of congestion tax – partly because they tend to be driving opposite (out mornings, in evenings) to the direction that benefited most from reduced congestion. It is interesting to note that inner city residents were never-the-less the most positive to the tax, as described in the previous section. This indicates that those living in the inner city experienced other benefits than those that were covered by the analysis.

However, the equity effects of a congestion tax system are utterly determined by how the revenues are used. The figure below illustrates the final outcome (direct effect + revenue recycling) of three hypothetical uses of revenue for the Stockholm system: all residents in the county share the revenues equally, the revenues are used to lower taxes and the revenues are used to lower public transport fares, respectively. As can be seen from the figure the distributional effect (here by income) is determined by revenue use.

One of the set objectives for the Stockholm trial was that the “urban environment as perceived by citizens”, should be improved. Both urban environment and livability, however, are complex and diffuse concepts. It is impossible to find a common, clear-cut definition of good (improved) urban environment. Therefore, it proved difficult to confirm or reject whether the trial had met its objective in this respect. 

The official evaluation of the Stockholm trial comprised a questionnaire study relating to the perception of environmental qualities in different parts of the City. On top of the definition problems introduced above, the study was also obstructed by completely different weather conditions prevailing during baseline- (spring 2005) and trial (spring 2006) measurement periods, respectively.

However, the results indicate that the public had indeed experienced improvement for exactly those factors for which objective measurable changes could also be demonstrated; that is those that were linked to reductions in traffic. Significant positive changes were thus observed for three types of environmental quality: better pace in traffic, improved air quality and improved accessibility by car.

The same tendencies appear in interviews made with cyclists in the inner city and with children who live in the inner city. The latter group’s experience of the city environment improved clearly, and many cyclists reported that they perceive that the number of cars has reduced, and that the traffic environment was improved.

No significant effects were proven on retail or tourism during the trial. Retail within the charging zone increased by 7 %, which should be compared to a similar increase of 8 % outside the zone and also in Sweden as a whole. Disparities between different areas are most likely due to trend shifts, calendar effects or special events. An important explanation to why only marginal effects arise, is that consumer behaviour has almost not changed over the past years. The Stockholm trial was heavily criticized in advance that it would change consumers shopping patterns drastically. However, the trial showed that consumers overall did not shop less neither outside or inside the charging zone.

Consumer studies have shown that minor substitution effects occur for example for daily purchases by inner city citizens, but this effect is so small that it cannot be observed in retail turnover. Overall no effect on the household purchasing power has been observed. Regional economic calculations show that the congestion tax amount to 1 ‰ of the total disposable income in the Stockholm county per year. Consequently, the tax is assessed not to affect purchasing power and private consumption.

Road Safety

As a direct consequence of reduced traffic, road safety for motorists was also expected to improve, particularly as regards whiplash injuries. However, the trial period was all too brief to enable these changes to be measured. Evaluations of the road safety effects of the trial are therefore based on estimates and the connection between road safety and changes in traffic volumes, traffic flows and speed levels.

Research shows that road safety is mainly influenced by changes in traffic volumes and speed levels. Since traffic declined as a result of the Stockholm Trial that means that even the estimated number of accidents within the charge zone in which people were injured is lower. The size of the reduction in accidents is, of course, uncertain but based on model estimates the number of accidents where people were injured should have fallen by about 9-18%. Reduced congestion should also have led to higher speeds, resulting in an expected increase in the number of accidents where people were injured. This effect, however, is not as big as the effect of traffic reductions.

The total effect of the Stockholm Trial on road safety is undoubtedly judged to be positive since the positive effects of the traffic reduction are expected to be bigger than the negative effects caused by higher speeds.



1]Environmental and road safety effects were excluded due to lack of detailed information on how the effects were distributed


Oslo

Equity discussions for the Oslo toll ring are primarily related to the high number of road users which no not pay. All trips within the toll ring and outside the toll ring avoid the fee. Less than 30% of the trips in the area pay toll. The rest benefit without contributing.

Traffic accident risks are reduced in the period of the toll ring, but to a smaller extent than on national level. However, the county of Oslo has experienced a larger reduction in deaths and severe injuries due to traffic accidents than the national average.

Traffic growth has occurred on major roads, while local roads have experienced unchanged traffic volumes. This is in line with the aims of the investment package. The toll ring itself led only to a small reduction in car travel crossing the toll cordon (3-5 %). The liveability in urban areas has benefited from having the increase in traffic on the main roads rather than on local roads. This was also one of the aims of the investment package.

Bristol

No information available.

The Hague

One of the recommendations is to avoid extending Spitsmijden to all road users on a voluntary basis; rewarding too many people may cause negative effects instead of positive ones. Therefore, in case of any follow-up it will have to determine who may participate, and who not. Why should residents of The Hague, who live quite near their jobs, not be rewarded? Why are commuters in remote areas not rewarded? And if not, will this difference lead to mechanisms on the estate market?

What statement is being made when a government financially rewards its citizens for certain behaviour? Will it seem like a polluting activity being stimulated? And the alternative, establishing new roads, can be used by many more (than only commuters around rush-hours). These and other difficult questions are likely to come up when starting a follow-up of Spitsmijden (not being a second trial).

Air quality and accessibility are expected to have been improved during the trial, but have not been investigated. A secondary effect of the reduction in congestion Spitsmijden may cause is the availability of more free time (for non-participants).


Durham

There appears to have been a re-distribution from cars to pedestrians – the big fall in the number of cars appears to have been replaced by the expansion in the pedestrian activity, suggesting that the area has now become a more accessible, safe and pleasant place to visit on foot. Therefore, pedestrians in Durham are within a definite group of winners as a result of the implementation of charging in Durham.

Edinburgh


No information available.


Milan

After Ecopass implementation the traffic congestion within the charged area during peak hours has decreased. By considering the ratio between flow and capacity of roads1] an average decrease of 4.7% has been calculated during the period between January and December 2008. Moreover it has been noticed a decrease of 25.1% of km of congested roads.



As a consequence the average vehicle speed has increased by 4% during morning peak hours, while the total time saved expressed as hours/day of trips by private vehicle has been equal to 750 hours within Ecopass area and 2,550 hours outside the area. By taking into account an economic value of time saved equal to 8 €/hour for private vehicles and 42 €/hour for commercial vehicles, the economic value of time saved is of 9.2 M€/year.

Road Safety
From data analysis of the first year of Ecopass it has been noticed a decrease in accidents within Ecopass area with a total accidents decrease of 14.4% (- 4.6% outside the areas) and of 14.2% (- 6.7% outside area) of accidents with injured people both in respect of year 2007.




1] The flow/capacity ratio indicates the usage extent of the capacity offered by the road network in respect of the total of vehicles circulating on these roads. It has estimated as the ratio between the sum of km travelled and the sum of roads capacity multiplied by the length of each road. The length of congested network is given by the sum of roads where the traffic volume exceeds the 90% of road capacity.


Bergen

No information available.

Bologna

Road Safety


There is no evidence of road accidents trend except for a short period between March and October 2005 when it was observed – compared to 2002-2004 mean value – a decrease in road accidents of 19.5%, in total number of injured of 16.7% and in pedestrians run over of 16.4%.

Cambridge


No information available.

Dutch National Case


No information available.

Manchester


No information available.

Nord-Jaeren


No information available.

Trondheim

Considerations of road pricing and equity deal with two main themes: How to allocate the burdens of charges and how to distribute the benefits. Both burdens and benefits may be allocated according to several different distributive principles, thus making equity considerations very complicated.

Experience from Norway has shown a multitude of ways to approach "fair" and acceptable charging schemes. One important point is to relax on the ambition to design "optimal" schemes, in a way that responds to important con-arguments and reduces opposition. The following features were included in the 1991 toll ring:

The "one hour rule": Only one crossing per hour is charged, partly due to claims that parents bringing children to kindergarten before travelling to work would be unduly hurt if charged for several crossings.

Disabled drivers are allowed free crossings.

A charging system with free passage after 5 pm and in the weekends. The "equity argument" was to avoid charging "social travel", e.g., visits or accompanying children to activities. 

The most difficult equity issue has been where to locate the toll stations in a "fair" way. The 1991 ring was a compromise between fairness arguments, practical considerations and revenue maximisation. The fairness aspect indicated that motorists benefiting from the new infrastructure should have to pay.

The development of a revised tolling scheme (implemented in 1998) was propagated as more fair, by charging a higher proportion of the motorists. (Raising more revenue for infrastructure was the other main argument). The zone system implied that the number of total households in Trondheim that paid toll charges during one ordinary (randomly chosen) working day increased from 28% to 42%. After this revision, there was still much public debate on how to improve the "fairness" of the system.

An assessment of the distributive effects of road pricing must take into account how revenues are spent. A redistribution of revenues to the car users (e.g., by lowering the car purchase tax) is not necessarily "fair" because there will be winners and losers among the motorists. Road pricing is prone to equity based opposition because high-income motorists and commercial traffic (valuing time savings higher than the fee) constitute the most likely "winners". "Losers" are likely to be found among low income, car-dependent households.

The most common suggestion on how to compensate losers is to use revenue to improve public transport. In Trondheim part of the revenue is earmarked for public transport infrastructure, as well as investments in walking and biking facilities. Furthermore, city centre retailers have been "compensated" by investments improving the environmental quality.