Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
What Implications Does This Theme Have On Other Themes In The SOAR?
In what follows we summarise under key headings the implications for urban road user charging in relation to other themes in CURACAO:
• Objectives: Support for the urban economy should be considered either as an objective of, or a constraint on, urban road user charging schemes.
• Scheme design: It seems probable that schemes can be designed which have a lower adverse impact on the urban economy, or are more supportive of it. Further work is needed to identify the critical design elements.
• Technology and Business models: It is not clear that there is a link between technology or business models and the urban economy.
• Prediction: The availability of models which reflect the impact of accessibility and environmental quality on location choice and economic activity is fundamental to an improved understanding of this theme.
• Traffic effects: Reductions in traffic levels may lead to a reduction in trade, but only if passing traffic is essential to economic activity. Reductions in congestion are more likely to be beneficial to the economy.
• Environment: Improvements in the environment in shopping centres are likely to have a positive impact on trade. More generally they may assist employee recruitment.
• Equity: Economic impacts can have substantial secondary impacts on equity. Poorer households are more likely to have to move if residential areas become more attractive, and are more vulnerable if they become less attractive. Those without good public transport access are more vulnerable if shops and facilities shut down or leave an area. The clustering of particular industries in one area could have an impact upon equity in terms of the relocation of particular types of workers. For example, the relocation of city professionals to one new hub of economic activity may have equity implications for those living outside the agglomeration.
• Appraisal: Appraisal of economic impacts remains difficult, partly because of difficulties in prediction and partly because of limitations in the valuation of benefits.
• Acceptability: Most acceptability research focuses on the public rather than businesses, though economic impacts can be expected to have a significant impact on business acceptability. Lack of public acceptability may well have an adverse impact on the urban economy and on residential choice. Agglomeration has benefits in terms of concentrating economic agents together in clusters hence reducing travel time and cost – therefore the opinion of such a mass market may impact positively upon acceptability.
• Transferability: It seems likely that there will be marked differences in economic impact between cities, not only within the same country but across different nation states. For example, established schemes such as those of Singapore or Norway would have been unsuitable to use as benchmarks or comparators to the London scheme – the political set up and physical geography of both these places is very different from London.
• Implementation: Securing support from the business community is an essential step in the implementation process. It may well be hindered by misperceptions of the scale of effect on business. It will be important to argue, as shown in this chapter, that empirical evidence to date suggests that any impacts are likely to be small in scale.
• Evaluation: It remains important to study the economic impacts of future URUC schemes so that the body of empirical knowledge on them can be expanded.