Pricing Our Roads: Vision and Reality

73 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2005

See all articles by Stephen Glaister

Stephen Glaister

Imperial College London - Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

Daniel J. Graham

Imperial College London - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Abstract

The only significant road pricing scheme in the UK is that introduced by Ken Livingstone in London. But the technology now exists to develop a nationwide scheme of road user charging, with prices to road users varying with the level of congestion in a given area at a given time. The only obstacles to implementing road user charging would seem to be political.

In this paper the authors use sophisticated geographical and economic modelling to examine the potential effects of different types of road user charging schemes. Using the results of the authors' models, academics and policymakers can readily understand the practical impacts of different road pricing schemes. The paper also examines carefully at the wider implications of road user charging and identifies other policy areas that policymakers would need to consider. For example, in what circumstances would it be worth collecting the charge? Should any vehicles be exempt? Who should own and manage the roads? What should happen to rail and bus subsidies? For what other purposes could road pricing technology be used?

The paper includes multi-coloured maps to illustrate the effects of different road pricing policies on traffic speeds and congestion.

Keywords: Roads, pricing, economics, congestion, transport, traffic

JEL Classification: A10, H0, H20, H40, N70, Q50, Q51, Q52, Q53, Q58

Suggested Citation

Glaister, Stephen and Graham, Daniel J., Pricing Our Roads: Vision and Reality. IEA Research Monograph No. 59, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=664421 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.664421

Stephen Glaister (Contact Author)

Imperial College London - Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine ( email )

Exhibition Road
London, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Daniel J. Graham

Imperial College London - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ( email )

Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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