June 17, 2005

An economic assessment of various methods of road pricing

Beprijzen van het wegverkeer loont

Press release
Het beprijzen van wegverkeer kan belangrijke maatschappelijke baten opleveren. De sleutel voor succes ligt bij de vormgeving. Een gedifferentieerde aanpak, waarbij tarieven worden afgestemd op de aard en omvang van de files, is de meest efficiënte vorm van prijsbeleid.

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The schemes of road pricing that have been analysed can roughly be classified in two groups: (i) Specific charges, on a limited number of places and hours: (ii)Flat charges on each kilometer driven. These pricing schemes have been assessed on their merits as a regulatory instrument (traffic flows, the environment) and as a financing instrument. Moreover, the impacts on the distrubution of income over groups of households and enterprises is studied.

According to the cost-benefit analysis, reducing congestion is best served with a policy of constructing new roads in areas where costs are not too high combined with specific road charges on other congested parts of the network. The welfare gains of well-designed congestion charges can exceed 1½ bln euro a year. Capitalised, this amounts to more than 20 bln euro. Flat charges turn out to be less efficiënt.

The publication is in Dutch.

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