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What Is The Importance Of The Theme?
Transferability is extremely important for advancing knowledge about the potential of road pricing schemes to achieve their objectives in alternative situations. An urban road pricing policy is very unlikely to be formulated in isolation of activities elsewhere and the processes of setting objectives, designing measures, predicting their impacts and winning acceptance are all likely to be affected by perceptions of experience gained in other cities.
For example, much of the current impetus for cities to consider pricing may relate to the perceived success of the schemes in
It is, therefore, essential that we understand which aspects of implemented or synthesised schemes may be expected to be repeated in other locations and which may not. We also need to understand which variables are likely to be important in determining the extent to which evidence can be transferred between situations.
In the findings of the User Needs Assessment Questionnaire, transferability was considered to be the least important of the nine themes presented to respondents from 21 cities. This may appear to conflict with the statements made above about the importance of the theme. However, it may also be the case that it is simply a reflection of the perspective of policy-makers and planners from individual cities, who are primarily focused on their local situation rather than on the wider picture. In that case, transferability may be perceived as a more remote “high level” theme, while many key transferability issues may be assumed to be part of other themes that are closer to hand. For example, the accuracy of model predictions may be critically dependent on relationships that are being driven by parameters derived from other situations, rather than from specific local data. Thus, the transferability theme may naturally be seen as more important by academics and higher level planners, responsible for advising cities on transport policy issues, than by the city planners themselves. Of course, an alternative explanation could be that city planners judge that they can learn the appropriate lessons from elsewhere easily, but have greater concerns about developing a scheme that fits their own circumstances. If this is the case, then it may be that the complexity of transferability is in danger of being underestimated.
The link between transferability and objectives is not simple. From an academic perspective, transferability has a tangential relationship to the objectives of road pricing schemes, because it exists to aid understanding of how the performance of proposed schemes against their objectives may vary dependent on a broad range of geographic, economic, social and temporal factors that are unique to each situation. However, as will be seen during the discussion of previous work, from a practical perspective transferability may be seen as a high level objective in its own right, motivated by the desire to repeat the perceived success of policy innovations that have been introduced elsewhere. At the individual scheme level, the relationship between transferability and objectives may focus on: (i) the extent to which predicted and actual achievement of objectives in other places at other times is useful as an aid to decision-making; and (ii) the contribution that scheme outcomes can make towards enhancing general understanding of factors that affect achievement of objectives.
No information on this theme is currently available from the case studies
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