Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
What Are The Policy Implications?
The limited evidence on road pricing scheme so far suggests that it is particularly important to develop an effective monitoring programme that collects information regarding the background trend, the changes arising from the implementation, an understand of the nature of the changes and how the affected adapt.
Attempting to carry out a cost benefit analysis on its own without understanding the qualitative nature of the problem can lead to confusion if the assumptions underlying the various evaluations are not made clear. In line with this, it is therefore crucial that the scope of the RUC scheme be defined and agreed on in advance. As the examples of London and Stockholm show, it is clearly possible that differing opinions and conclusions can be arrived at depending on the definition of the elements of the scheme.
In addition, it is important to understand the qualitative implications behind the changes to form a more complete picture of the scenario arising as a result of RUC scheme. As Mackie (2005) has pointed out, there are many attributes of URUC that can potentially contribute to the improvement of the quality of life which are very difficult to measure and even more difficult to judge objectively. These qualitative changes whilst not easy to pin down in numerical terms, they should not be discounted as they are also crucial to the overarching objective of enhancing welfare of residents and commuters alike.
It is clear that further guidance is needed on best practice in evaluation. Guidance on the principles to be adopted is available from the MAESTRO project (MAESTRO, 2000), on which CURACAO itself has drawn. However, MAESTRO does not specify critical factors which need to be addressed, such as:
As the IMPRINT-Net project (Ricci et al, 2009) has noted, evaluation of pricing policies remains the weakest area of policy development. This is an area on which further research and policy guidance is needed.
- the spatial and temporal boundaries to be considered in identifying impacts
- the policy boundaries to be considered in deciding which complementary policies, and uses of revenues, should be included
- the treatment of second order effects, such as transfer of crowding and congestion to other modes, areas or times of day, and third order effects like those on the urban economy
- the way in ehich less readily quantified and valued impacts, such as changes in unreliability or in public realm, should be evaluated
- the values to be assigned to those effects which can readily be quantified
- the treatment of revenues generated and the use to which those revenues are put
- the treatment of equity impacts
No information on this theme is currently available from the case studies