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 PREDICTION on our case studies

Edinburgh

Inevitably the focus now is on why there should be such an overwhelming rejection of a scheme that had been under development for over five years. A number of possible causes are suggested below, based on earlier consultation and views expressed in the media and elsewhere at the time of the vote. These are unlikely to be comprehensive, and the outcomes of current research on public attitudes to congestion charging in Edinburgh post-referendum will be required before the issues are fully understood.

A major area of uncertainty is the extent to which this was a vote against the principle of congestion charging, a vote against the particular scheme proposed, or a vote against the Council for wider reasons. All these factors seem likely to have been in play. For example, the Conservative opposition (13 out of the 58 Council members) opposed the principle of congestion charging in Edinburgh outright while the Liberal Democrats (15 Councillors) opposed the specifics of the scheme, in particular its timing. They took the view that more public transport alternatives should be in place first. The Labour administration, the only other party represented on the Council, were therefore left as the only supporters of the scheme. The administration’s overall majority of just 2 seats will have had the effect of politicizing the issue, with opposition parties taking the opportunity to seek potential future electoral advantage. No charismatic champion of the scheme who would have the confidence of the public, emerged to build support.

Neighbouring authorities, also all Labour controlled, particularly opposed the outer cordon and the exemption for Edinburgh citizens living outside it, while indicating their support for the principle of congestion charging. Although only residents of Edinburgh could vote in the referendum, the opposition from surrounding areas affected the publicity about the scheme, and may well have influenced opinion within the city.

A range of issues appear to have influenced voting behavior, ranging from serious errors of fact, to issues of fairness, to perceptions about taxation. Some key points are suggested to be:

  • Mistrust of Council motives (illustrated, for example, by a perception by some that the Council’s bus priority and traffic calming measures are designed to ‘generate congestion’);
  • Some aspects of the proposals being seen as ‘unfair’, in particular the outer Edinburgh exemption;
  • Errors of fact about the charging proposals, including by the media
  • Insufficient connection between up-front investments and the charging scheme;
  • Lack of understanding/definition of the associated long-term investment proposals;
  • Lack of obvious benefits for motorists;
  • A belief that improvement of public transport (agreed by most to be necessary) will on its own reduce car use;
  • Belief that government would/should pay for transport investment – from the ‘excessive’ taxes already paid by motorists.

These issues might suggest that the Council and promoters of the transport strategy were unsuccessful in their communications strategy, not only in the referendum campaign but also more generally in their promotion of integrated transport policies over a period of time. A major information campaign was mounted prior to the referendum, which sought to present information about the strategy in a balanced way. However, legal requirements about the use of public money in the period leading up to the referendum meant that great care had to be taken about how the issues were presented, limiting the creativity that could be employed in attracting the attention of the public. The £600,000 (€720,000) available for this campaign, while substantial by Council standards, is not a very large sum for a major marketing campaign. No public funds were made available for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigning groups, something that has been done in other referenda and is recommended1] by the Initiatives and Referenda Institute (IRI), an international referendum ‘think-tank’.

This leads on to the issue of the referendum itself. The IRI report highlights a number of issues about the referendum, both positive and negative. A key point is that there is limited experience of such tests in the UK, and little in the way of a legal framework or good practice guidelines. Indeed the Edinburgh referendum had no legal status; in legal terms it was simply ‘a test of public opinion’. Nevertheless, a substantial effort was made to manage the process fairly and avoid the risk of legal challenge, limiting resources for dealing with the substantive issues. Many lessons remain to be learnt about the referendum process and the promotion of a major policy at a referendum.


1] IRI-EUROPE, A Preliminary Assessment of the Transport Edinburgh Referendum, Edinburgh/Stockholm/Brussels, 1 March 2005. (www.iri-europe.net)


Bristol

No information available.

The Hague

Based on the available information, it seems that no predictions of effects were made. However, in the following paragraphs the elaborated predictions of adjusted and/or larger Spitsmijden follow-up are described.

One model is based on economic welfare theory and was used to determine the optimal reward level. The second model is a traffic model that allowed the simulation of different reward levels and an assessment of the global impact of the corresponding reward schemes.

The INDY model

The macroscopic dynamic traffic model, named INDY, was used to forecast the traffic conditions that would result from the introduction of a Spitsmijden reward scheme. The main aim was not to forecast what would happen during the pilot phase, but what would have happened if (a) a different reward scheme would have been used and/or (b) a larger number of people would have participated.

This model calculates an equilibrium state via an iterative process, taking into account that the congestion decrease due to behavioural adjustments of rewarded drivers is (partly) compensated by other drivers: the return-to-the-peak effect.

The INDY model shows that a participation level of 10% and 100% both lead to travel time savings, while a participation of 50% generates travel time losses. The latter effect is caused by the fact that a small number of participants changing their departure time can alleviate the congestion for many, but if too many people change, they cause congestion for themselves and for others. Changing the level of rewards causes a similar effect as changing participation level.

A high level of participation with high rewards will probably lead net travel time losses for the whole network. In practice, this combination of high reward and high participation would also be very expensive. The greatest travel time savings can be achieved by shifting a number of travellers low enough to not cause congestion for themselves or others, while decreasing demand during rush-hours and solving bottlenecks. An interesting question would then be what the best combination of participation and reward levels would be, given a certain budget.

The Bottleneck Model

The main function of the bottleneck model, an economic model, is its use as a complementary tool for traffic analysis. The complexity of the INDY model – which provides a much more detailed picture of traffic congestion in the relevant area than the bottleneck model does – complicates the determination of optimal tolls.

The model calculates an equilibrium in which all drivers can reach the same utility: the disutility of having to spend some time in the queue for those who arrive at work exactly on time is equal to that of those who arrive earlier or later and have to spend less time in the queue.

The four road segments between the inflow from highway A4 (junction Prins Clausplein) and the Voorburg ramp act as a bottleneck because of the relatively large amounts of weaving traffic here.

The optimal fine toll is estimated to be € 2.25 for passing the bottleneck at the beginning or at the end of rush-hours. Drivers who pass through the bottleneck between the beginning and the end of rush-hours receive a lower reward, and drivers who pass through exactly at the time for arriving at work at the preferred time, do not receive anything. It is clear that in this case the toll is in fact a reward: nobody has to pay, and all except the drivers who arrive at the preferred time receive some money.

The optimal toll, whose value does not change over time, equals to €1.28 between 8:05a.m. and 9:24 a.m. This toll can be easily transformed into an equivalent reward. This reward equals to €0.84 and is given to drivers who pass through the bottleneck between 7.24a.m. and 8:05a.m., or between 9:24a.m. and 9.36a.m.. No reward is granted outside this period.

Target group analysis

Moreover, a target group analysis was carried out using a logistical regression model. This showed that the amount of reward has no influence on the probability of displaying a certain reaction, but probably more effect on the frequency of behavioural adjustment. Well-educated participants were more likely to choose to work from home (monetary variant) and to travel before rush-hours (Yeti variant). Men were more likely than women to avoid traffic.


Durham


No information available.

Bologna

No information available.

Milan


No information available.

London

Prior to the start of congestion charging, the impact on the city (particularly from the point of view of businesses) was largely unknown.

There was a great deal of uncertainty and fear about the impact on business margins, particularly in the long term.

Business-related trade associations including the Freight Transport Association have been long-term opponents of the charge, arguing that the scope to organize delivery schedules outside of charging hours had already been exploited to the full and that all existing operations would need to continue using the network at chargeable times.

Stockholm

Expectations concerning the Stockholm Trial were many, as were uncertainties about how its effects would be influenced by the fact that the trial period was limited. Numerous questions centered on whether such a limited trial period would result in the large effects indicated by traffic models- road users/passengers might choose to “sit out” the trial period and not adjust their travel patterns.

Even before the Stockholm Trial started, most experts were well aware that motorists are sensitive to economic incitement so expectations that the congestion tax would reduce traffic volumes were therefore well grounded.

The reduction in traffic volume was carefully predicted by traffic modelling. Several different scenarios were tested. Other effects like emissions of carbon and particulate matter were calculated from the traffic decrease from the transport models. Volume/delay-models predicted that a decrease of 10 to 15 percent of the traffic would be enough to give substantial travel time savings.

Based on the modelled predictions the expectations were that:

  • traffic would decrease, but less than the forecasted 25% in the city centre
  1. speeds would increase, primarily along the north-south axis
  2. but not visibly
  3. and mostly inside the cordon
  • traffic and congestion on the Essinge by-pass would increase significantly
  • effects during peak hours would be much larger than between peaks


When comparing the outcome with the forecasts we can conclude that the overall picture was fairly correct. The figure below shows the predicted and actual change in traffic flow.


Oslo


No information available.

Rome


No information available.

Bergen

No information available.

Cambridge


No information available.

Dutch National Case


No information available.

Manchester


No information available.

Nord-Jaeren


No information available.

Trondheim


No information available.