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Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
What Is The Importance Of The Theme?Implementation of any policy measure is a gradual process with interlinked elements or phases. Without understanding the full spectrum of an implementation process, especially for rather controversial measures such as urban road user charging, the chances of successful implementation are slight.
Research state that recent trends in society and public administration often have increased the challenges for implementation processes. These general trends that influence implementation complexity are found to be for example in (Bergström et al 2008):
• The speed of technological advancements
• Hierarchical structures replaced with more loosely organized networks
• A movement towards more indirect policies, more ad hoc and less binding
• Increasing number of actors involved
• New ways of interacting between public and private sectors (e.g. PPP)
• Increasing number of jurisdictional and political levels in the European context
• Increased interrelatedness of organisations as the state becomes more fragmented.
Some of the above can be seen as influential also on implementation processes of specific policy measures such as urban road user charging. In many countries the measure is also new and divisive, which puts high demands on learning processes and the relationship between actors, and also requires efficient legislative and regulatory processes at several jurisdictional levels Moreover, the policy measure of urban road pricing is often linked to global sustainability concerns. All this implies large and increasing numbers of stakeholders involved in the implementation process of URUC.
The scope of urban transport planning has widened over the years as has the policy tool box. According to the European White Paper (CEC, 2001) for transport, accepting the need for change will require:
“…the adoption of proactive measures, some of them difficult to accept — will involve the implementation of new forms of regulation to channel future demand for mobility and to ensure that the whole of Europe’s economy develops in sustainable fashion.”
To ensure efficient policymaking targeted to the challenges in the transport sector, an understanding of the mechanisms of implementation processes is of critical importance, both for decision making and for the outcome of urban road user charging. It is also important not to regard introduction of an urban road user charging scheme merely as a technical project, but as a multi dimensional business and socio-economic project. The interdependencies of elements within such a project are at the core of what we here define as the implementation process.
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