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Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
The word “Spitsmijden”is a Dutch idiom stating the intention to avoid peak traffic. The Spitsmijden experiment in The Netherlands is not about a regular road pricing scheme, but about rewarding car drivers for avoiding to drive during peak hours.During the 50 working days experiment, 340 frequent drivers looked at alternatives for driving during morning peak hours over the stretch of the Dutch A12 motorway from Zoetermeer towards The Hague.
On weekday mornings, this segment of motorway is heavily congested with vehicles being heading for The Hague, which constitutes the centre of a daily urban system, with Zoetermeer as one of its suburbs. There are few alternative routes or ramps along this stretch of motorway, which made the trial relatively easy to control. The trial was launched on 2 October 2006 and ended on 24 January 2007.
The participants were rewarded if they succeeded to avoid driving during peak hours and it worked. The number of participants driving in peak morning traffic was halved. This was a promising result for an experiment that used a traffic management new technique unique for The Netherlands. A close cooperation with scientists, industry and government made this possible.
Currently, three Dutch universities and Goudappel Coffeng are investigating stated and revealed participants behaviour, in order to estimate the benefits on society, the reasons for participation and the strategies to gain a reward. The second phase of Spitsmijden will focus on long-term operations, probably with an experiment between the cities of Gouda and The Hague. In the meantime, some organisations use the success of Spitsmijden to implement rewarding schemes in case of road works.
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