www.curacaoproject.eu                      CURACAO - coordination of urban road-user charging organisational issues                   Funded by the EU

Road Pricing Context













Decision Making



Implementation and Evaluation



Case Studies






Dutch National Case









The Hague


Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base

What Do We Know About The Theme?

In this section we introduce general and road pricing specific implementation models resulting from research and EU-projects. We also take a look at “lessons learned” from case studies in the Curacao project.
Implementation models

 Looking at different implementation models can help us understand the different elements affecting and constituting the process of implementing URUC as well as understanding the structural inter-dependencies between these different elements.


An internationally acknowledged implementation model based in political science has been developed by Søren Winter (Winter, 2003). The model aims to integrate different dimensions of implementation by placing the so called implementation process at the core, but also situating this process in a policy context as a whole along with outcome and results. The model gives an overall picture of where to look for possible explanations of implementation problems (see Figure 14 1).

Figure 14 1 Winter’s Integrated implementation model
(Source: Bergström and Sorensen (2006)

The Winter implementation model consists of the socio-economic surroundings as well as the following four phases (Bergström et al 2006):

1. Policy formulation and policy design
2. Intra- and inter-organisational implementation behaviour
3. Street level bureaucratic behaviour
4. Target group behaviour.

The policy formulation and design consists of raising the question in mind on the agenda and setting the political framework by specifying overall objectives and the design of the measure. In this phase it is important, according to Winter, to avoid adopting unclear goals or implementing symbolic rather than problem solving policies. Furthermore, there are few cases where only one actor is involved in implementing a policy measure. Therefore Winter defines these intra-organisational issues as very important and at the core of the implementation process. Implementation problems in this phase arise when organisational interests or incentives conflict with the policy objectives or for example the coordination itself becomes difficult because of the number of stakeholders. Street level bureaucratic behaviour refers to when public officials who in their jobs interact with members of the target groups and with their discretionary power might (intentionally or not) modify the policies from their intentions. The final stage in the implementation process according to Winter is the target group behaviour and its effect on the outcome of the policy.

Implementation processes, including a development of the Winter model, are further analysed in the recent EU-project IMPACT/Transportmistra (see http://www.impactmistra.se). IMPACT aims to develop models and tools for the support of sustainability oriented decision-making and implementation in the transport sector.


Another question raised in the EU-project IMPACT was the actual role of Decision Support in policy making and implementation in the area of Sustainable Mobility. Decision Support is defined as ‘the systematic application of externally produced knowledge in transport planning and policy making processes (Gudmundsson et al, 2008b). In the model (see Figure 14 2), decision support concerns ‘decisions’ in the whole process cycle of problem identification, target setting, analysis of alternatives, policy choice, practical implementation and evaluation (Gudmundsson et al , 2008a).

Figure 142 Model describing Decision Support in different phases of a policy cycle.

(Source: Gudmundsson et al 2008)

Key factors behind implementation failure that traditionally have been the focus of research are (Barrett, 2004):
• Lack of clear policy objectives (leaving room for interpretation)
• Multiplicity of actors and agencies involved
• Organisational values and interests differing between actors and agencies
• Relative autonomy among implementing agencies generating lack of administrative control.


In the EU project CUPID, the following necessary actions were defined for successful implementation and operation of road pricing schemes (CUPID 2005):

1. Secure political support
2. Problem discussion, causes and objectives
3. Solution discussion (how to reach objectives)
4. Design an integrated package of measures (including revenue use)
5. Participation
6. Media involvement
7. Solution forming/presentation: Asses impacts and demonstrate likely outcomes
8. Physical implementation (including agreed investments/improvements and information campaigns)
9. Monitor to demonstrate impacts
10. Follow-up assessment/adjustment/learning
11. Refine towards more sophisticated system over time if necessary.

In reality these steps are not all linear or one-by-one steps. Instead CUPID defines vertical and horizontal actions. Vertical actions describe tasks that have to be done stepwise for a limited period of the process. Horizontal actions have to be done permanently over a longer period of time, for example securing political support. CUPID concludes that the implementation process should be seen as an iterative and adaptive learning process. The above mentioned actions are compiled in Figure 14 3 with regard to their vertical or horizontal character.


Figure 143 Implementation actions for introducing Road User Charging

(Source: CUPID, 2005)

In the earlier EU project MC-ICAM it was concluded that the acceptability barriers may be the most difficult to deal with in the implementation process of road pricing, the technological barriers the easiest and the legal and institutional barriers in between (MC-ICAM, 2003).
Lessons learned in CURACAO case studies

In the earlier EU project MC-ICAM it was concluded that the acceptability barriers may be the most difficult to deal with in the implementation process of road pricing, the technological barriers the easiest and the legal and institutional barriers in between (MC-ICAM, 2003).

In this section we look at some implementation aspects in the urban charging schemes of Stockholm, Norway, Rome, Edinburgh and London. Consequently, we cover cases that either have implemented urban road charging schemes already or came a long way in the implementation process before failing to progress. The cases differ in their objectives and scheme design. This section will focus on a selection of implementation categories that are not described as separate themes elsewhere in this report. The categories below do not aim to be comprehensive or cover all aspects of the implementation process. Implementation aspects in the case studies that will be addressed briefly are:

• Political decision making
• Policy packages and revenue use
• Legal and institutional framework
• Time span and implementation sequence

For further details on the specific case studies, we refer to the CURACAO report D3 Case Study Results (CURCAO, 2008).


1. Political decision making
Different kinds of charging schemes have been discussed in Stockholm over the years, but never implemented due to the difficulties in securing broad and stable political agreements on controversial traffic policies in the region (Isaksson et al 2007). In 2002, there was a national political agreement in order to form a government between Social Democrats (majority leaders), and the Green Party, which held the balance of power In these negotiations the Green Party required, among other things, a full scale trial of congestion charging in Stockholm. The constitutional framework does however require that the municipality in question makes a formal request to the parliament, which takes the final decision. Such a request came from the local political level (under strong influence of national politicians) in 2004. There was immense political opposition from the surrounding municipalities in the region, but they had no formal say in the implementation process.

Unlike London, there was no political “champion”, but the influence of London as a scheme forerunner is apparent. An extensive decision support process was carried out including considerable evaluation and communication efforts. Data collection and modelling were significantly influential on policy change and implementation (Gudmundsson et al ,2008a). The effects of the scheme were immediate, visible to the eye and stable. In addition, it seems as if the scientific evaluation as well as the strategy to communicate results in “real time” decreased the room for speculations concerning the effects (Gudmundsson et al ,2008a). Also the technical system worked well. After the trial in 2006, a referendum resulted in an overall “yes” from the citizens of Stockholm City and the congestion tax was re-installed in August 2007.

2. Policy packages and revenue use
The congestion charging trial was accompanied by a package of improvements in public transport and park and ride facilities. During the trial the revenue was intended for improved public transport, and during the permanent scheme for road infrastructure investments. To highlight the environmental aspect of the scheme, alternative fuel cars are exempt from congestion tax (at least until 2012). In general, however, the components of the package seem to have been more adopted to achieve political negotiability and public acceptance than to optimise the package with respect to its explicit policy objectives. (Brundell-Freij, 2008).

3. Legal and institutional framework
Since Sweden had no previous experience in urban road pricing, new legislation had to be established. For constitutional reasons, the congestion charges were formally classified as state tax. This means that it is the state that collects the congestion charges, since local government bodies can only collect taxes from their own citizens. Initially, the tax classification generated a very short payment period, in particular considering that it is not possible to pay directly at the cordon. As a consequence of the learning process of the trial, these payment regulations have been adjusted and are more customer-oriented in the permanent scheme.

In Stockholm the practical responsibility for the congestion charge is divided between the national road administration (SRA) which administers the congestion tax (since it is a state tax) and the City of Stockholm who evaluates and monitors the effects. Before the trial the City was also responsible for the planning and design of the scheme. The communicative roles were clearly defined as the following; SRA informed on how to pay while the City conveyed why the scheme was introduced.

4. Time span and implementation sequence
From the national political announcement in September 2002 to the trial starting date in January 2006 a little over three years had elapsed. Due to delays from e.g. legal investigation of the procurement, the trial amounted to only 7 months. Since the original trial starting date was delayed, the enhanced public transport started 5 months earlier (August 2005) than the congestion charge trial itself. The rather short implementation time frame meant that many actions had to be carried out simultaneously, for example the procurement had to be started even though the legislation was not in place nor were the responsibilities between actors defined.


1. Political decision making
The urban toll rings in Norway are all based on local initiatives, and they first need approval by local and regional political bodies, and then sanctioning by the National Parliament. Norway has a long tradition of financing sections of road infrastructure, especially inter-urban bridges and tunnels, by combining road user tolls and public funds. The launching of the Bergen toll ring in 1986 was made possible by a change in the Road Act to allow tolls on roads with no alternative route. This made toll rings viable, and two other major Norwegian cities subsequently followed the example set by Bergen; Oslo in 1990 and Trondheim in 1991.

2. Policy packages and revenue use
The contents of the city investment packages and the design of the schemes have changed in line with local political preferences and developments in technology. The sole emphasis on highway investments in the original Bergen package was widened to include infrastructure investments for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians in the Oslo and Trondheim schemes. The latest generation of toll packages are characterised by a significant use of revenue for public transport infrastructure. This includes rail, tram and metro investments as well as stations. Oslo package 2 (2001), the Nord-Jæren package (2001) and the Bergen Programme (2003) are good examples.

3. Legal and institutional framework
The current urban charging schemes in Norway are tolling schemes, since they all have revenue generation for transport infrastructure investments as their principal objective. Differentiated charges are only allowed if revenues are not negatively influenced. In 2001, a new major legislative change came which made it possible to introduce road pricing (i.e. congestion charging) specifically for demand management purposes. This new law states that road pricing is different from tolling in the sense that road pricing is intended to internalise externalities (primarily congestion costs), whereas the purpose of tolls is solely to finance investments. The law also states that tolling and road pricing cannot exist in the same area at the same time. This indirectly defines these two options as distinct tools. So far, local authorities have been reluctant to introduce road pricing proposals.

4. Time span and implementation sequence
The planning and decision making processes of the Norwegian toll rings have differed widely in complexity and time taken. Severe problems of congestion, traffic safety, noise, and air pollution were documented in the early eighties in the major cities, and it was recognised that the funding forthcoming from Central Government was not sufficient to solve these problems within an acceptable time frame. For example, in Bergen the toll ring was first proposed in 1983, after a relatively short period of debate. Three years later it was in operation. Notably, the Nord-Jæren scheme happened after 15 years of planning and decision making. It is recognised that charging must be linked to a well-defined package of transport infrastructure improvements, and that real improvements need to be visible shortly before or shortly after the introduction of charging.


1. Political decision making
Italy has a long tradition of toll roads and to some extent also access control in Limited Traffic Zones of historic city centres. The first road pricing scheme in Rome from 2001 (extended in 2003/2004) is a development of such an access control measure from 1989 (CURACAO 2008). Evolution from access control to road user charge was seen as a natural progression and the introduction of automated enforcement in 1998 paved the way for a road pricing scheme (Ieromonachou et al 2006). Even so, the scheme is regarded to have had a complicated set up due to technical, bureaucratic and institutional issues.

The main objective of City Council is to achieve an urban sustainable development through the implementation of mobility policies. This main objective, reinforced by the new City Administration in 2008, includes improvements to traffic mobility, increasing road safety, decreasing traffic related pollution, to enhancing urban spaces, safeguarding citizens’ health and life quality, and preserving historical and architectural heritage. The implemented policies in the city aim to increase constraints for accessing the inner zones and encourage the use of peripheral inter-modal nodes. A driving force has also been the EU air quality directive. The standpoint of the new Administration is that the city centre achievements in sustainable mobility have to be diffused to the whole city

2. Policy packages and revenue use
Mobility demand management such as limiting car use in the city centre is part of Rome’s General Traffic Master Plan aiming to support sustainable transport and preserving historical and architectural heritage. Other complementary measures are innovations in public transport and traffic management regulations such as e.g. parking charge zones, where charges are higher closer to the city centre. In the city centre, pollution is limited with an innovative combination of access restriction, safe pedestrian pathways, electric public transport lines and extensive ITS use. As a consequence, the charging scheme developments are now widely accepted at all levels from stakeholders to citizens.

In addition the charging scheme was modified in 2007. For example, the charge for residents was changed from €20 to €55, and non residents from €340 to €550 (CURACAO 2008). All the revenue (coming from permit release and fines) is the property of Rome Municipality. According to Italian legislation, fine revenues from traffic regulation have to be used for mobility improvement. Therefore, Rome Municipality uses the revenue to finance road maintenance, improvements in public transport and other sustainable mobility measures.

3. Legal and institutional framework
In 1992, a directive was introduced that allowed municipalities to charge motor vehicles when entering or circulating inside the Limited Traffic Zone. In 1999, the Italian Parliament extended the directive to cover distance based traffic control systems, followed by a presidential decree that allowed municipalities to obtain the authorisation from the Ministry of Public Works for installing and operating automatic access control systems to historical centres and areas restricted to traffic.

In Rome, ATAC (the Mobility Agency of the city of Rome), whose sole shareholder is the Municipality, manages the different area control and road pricing systems. The enforcement procedure for the infringements however is managed by the Urban Police.

4. Time span and implementation sequence
The incremental introduction of Italian road pricing experiments took 12 years from the initial access control scheme in 1989 to the electronic full scale Access Control System and flat-fare Road Pricing (ACS+RP) in 2001. Since then the Limited Traffic Zone has been extended twice. Rome was the first city in Italy to request an automatic ACS+RP scheme. Due to the complexity of the procedures related to the operational use of such automatic equipment on a large scale for the first time in Italy, the government bodies ordered a pre-exercise trial, jointly operated with the Urban Police at each gate to endorse the violations.


1. Political decision making
The concept for congestion charging in Edinburgh first appeared in the transport strategy documents in the early 90’s when capacity and demand management issues were discussed. Local government in Scotland underwent major reorganisation in 1996 and the transport function moved from nine regional authorities to 32 unitary authorities. This meant that funding for transport was severely diminished and Edinburgh had to look at innovative ways to achieve long standing transport ambitions. After looking at a range of options the council approved what was then referred to as the New Transport Initiative which proposed a series of major transport schemes funded through a congestion charging scheme. To assist with the delivery of this initiative the City Council established an arms length company Transport Initiative Edinburgh (TIE) in 2002.

In the lead up to the elections in 2002 there was concern about marginal seats in the west of the city and the then rulling labour group gave a commitment that congestion charging would only be implemented following majority support at a public referendum. A referendum was not a requirement of the legislative process; however it was necessary to publish a draft congestion charging order and to convene a public inquiry to hear objections to the scheme. In the event the public inquiry concluded after hearing the evidence in response to objections that the City of Edinburgh should proceed with the scheme. The only time available to the council to hold the referendum was therefore immediately following the publication of the reporter’s findings in October 2004 and this took place in February 2005. Following an overall no (75 %), the scheme was aborted. It appears that the public consultation exercise in the lead up to the referendum was not as effective as it could have been – too few resources were devoted to explaining the scheme and its benefits. Consequently, people had limited understanding of the scheme and misperceptions were widely spread. For example even though modelling results indicted that the scheme was broadly equitable, a majority believed that the scheme would hit non-city residents disproportionately and also lead to a deterioration for already existing public transport users. There was also evidence that the result of the referendum reflected a general dissatisfaction with the Council rather than just being on the congestion charging proposal. Also, the timing of the referendum itself seems to have been critical for the loss of the scheme.

2. Policy packages and revenue use
The legislation required that revenue raised from congestion charging must be ring fenced for transport investment. In addition there was an need to demonstrate the principle that who pays gains. An extensive package of investments in excess of £1billion was developed in cooperation with neighbouring authorities and an implementation programme was agreed. This meant that some 46 % of the net revenue was being invested in transport projects outside the City in proportion to the trip origins of those paying the congestion charge however this did not stop the neighbouring authorities objecting to the principles of the scheme and in particular the outer cordon. They believed it was a tax on their citizens accessing jobs in the economic centre of the region.

3. Legal and institutional framework
Separate legislation exists for each of the home nations within the United Kingdom and whilst the Westminster government made provision for road pricing within the legislation establishing the Greater London Authority in 1999 there were no powers available to the rest of the UK. In Scotland the necessary powers were made available when the Transport (Scotland) Act was passed in 2001.

4. Time span and implementation sequence
From the Edinburgh experience the implementation was a long and complex process. Initially, the scheme was supposed to start in 2003, but due to the complexities of the scheme, the need to gain public support and delays to the process of passing legislation, the starting date was subsequently set back to autumn 2006. By the time of the referendum and the termination of the process five years had elapsed developing the scheme at a cost of approximately £10m. Regarding sequence, one of the arguments from the opposition was that very few transport improvements would be in place before the charging scheme started. In addition, it was felt that the bus improvements were defined too late in the planning process.


1. Political decision making
The political context of the implementation of the Central London Congestion Charging scheme was inextricably linked to the legal and institutional framework. New national legislation was passed in 1999 which created a post of Mayor of London, who was given very wide legislative and political powers, particularly in relation to transport.

Therefore, the campaign for the first election for Mayor of London in 2000 was characterised by the prominence of transport as the central focus of debate among the candidates. A particularly radical package of measures was proposed by Ken Livingstone with a Central London Congestion Charging scheme being promoted as his flagship project. Mr Livingstone openly campaigned to introduce Congestion Charging and supporting measures were he to be elected. A high degree of consensus among opinion formers and stakeholders that action had to be taken to address the problem of congestion directly coupled with newly introduced radical and overarching national legislation set the tone for the type of debate about Congestion Charging that took place during the 2000 Mayoral election campaign.

Once elected in 2000 Ken Livingstone fulfilled his election manifesto commitment and introduced a Congestion Charging scheme by February 2003. Similarly the London Mayoral election campaign of 2004 was characterised by the prominence of Congestion Charging as a central element of transportation policy. In 2007, the re-elected Ken Livingstone extend the Congestion Charging westwards. The current Mayor, Boris Johnson, on the other hand stating in the election campaign of 2008 that he would reconsult on the western extension of the Congestion Charging zone, if elected. This has now taken place.

Throughout the debate about road pricing in London the previous Mayor championed the concept of Congestion Charging. This high profile affirmation of the project was a critical factor in the project’s relatively swift and successful conception, development and implementation. Such positive championing of road pricing was probably ultimately only possible because of the high degree of power and autonomy allowed to the Mayor by the national government.

2. Policy packages and revenue use
An essential feature of the implementation of Congestion Charging in London was the package of complementary measures that were introduced in tandem with the scheme. The package included public transport improvements, traffic managements schemes (prior to the introduction of Congestion Charging there had not been a central traffic control location in London), investments to decrease on-street parking. In addition to the programme of traditional style traffic management measures introduced to complement Congestion Charging, the programme also supported a range of ‘soft’ measures. These were primarily targeted to encourage those people entering the Congestion Charging zone to transfer away from the private car towards more sustainable forms of transport.

The overall programme of projects to complement the Central London Congestion Charging Scheme was extremely significant in helping to gain the support of a number of major stakeholders for the scheme. The importance of the Complementary Measures programme can be seen in that it accounted for approximately 50% (about £80 million) of the total implementation costs of the original scheme. TfL also had to ensure that major investments and maintenance projects already underway at locations near the Congestion Charging area were completed prior to the go-live date.

The usage of revenues from Congestion Charging was also clearly stated ‘to be available only for application for relevant transport purposes’ by the body introducing the scheme. TfL has prioritised public transport as the primary recipient of net profits and each year, since its inception, approximately 80% of net proceeds. Generally it was considered advantageous to the public perception and degree of acceptance of Congestion Charging that it was publicly stated that revenues derived from Congestion Charging were being directed towards public transport and associated areas.

3. Legal and institutional framework
The legal and institutional framework which allowed the Congestion Charging scheme to be implemented was put in place by the incoming Labour government from 1997 onwards. It was the national government that provided the framework for the creation of the Congestion Charging scheme in London through passing the Greater London Authority Act 1999. The Act allowed for creation of a post of a directly elected Mayor of London for the first time; it laid out the legal relationship between the Mayor and newly created Greater London Authority (scrutiny role rather than decision making wrt the Mayors programme) and it set out the legal basis for the establishment of Transport for London. The congestion charge in London is administered by Transport for London (Tfl),

The Act gave the Mayor of London considerable autonomy with respect to type of road pricing scheme to be introduced in London. Furthermore, the Act stated that the Mayor had to produce a transport strategy and that any charging scheme should be in conformity with the Mayor’s transport strategy.

An interesting element of the Act was that it also made provision for the introduction of a Workplace Parking Levy by Transport for London or any London Borough Council or the City of London in addition to, or in place of, a Road User Charging scheme should they so wish.

4. Time span and implementation sequence
The time span for implementation of the London Congestion Charging scheme is largely determined by the length of political terms between elections. The target dates of implementation of the original scheme by February 2003 and the Western Extention in 2007 allowed sufficient time for any revisions and refinements to be made and the scheme to be seen to be operating efficiently for a significant period of time prior to the subsequent mayoral election.

The time scale determined by the Mayor was felt to be challenging and for it to be met successfully significant personnel and financial resources had to be dedicate to the project. Also it could be argued that the challenging timescale associated with the introduction of the scheme had an impact on certain areas of the project, e.g. the choice of more traditional technology rather than innovative.

In London it was seen as being important that certain elements supporting Congestion Charging were in place prior the scheme’s introduction such as enhanced bus services, the residents’ Controlled Parking Zones and traffic management measures near the Congestion Charge zone boundary. Such a sequencing of implementation was important from a practical perspective – to ensure that the requisite projects and infrastructure were in place prior to introduction of Congestion Charging to accommodate those people who were going to transfer to more sustainable modes from the private car and also from a psychological perspective – as testimony that the project was going to be implemented and giving people the opportunity to modify their travel behaviour should they wish to.