Supporting policy packages: the future of road pricing in the UK

Ieromonachou, Petros; Warren, James and Potter, Stephen (2007). Supporting policy packages: the future of road pricing in the UK. In: Kuhmo Nectar Conference, 9-13 Jul 2007, Urbino, Italy.



Transport is already a large component of our economy and society. Historically, transport programmes were substantially about developing basic infrastructure networks. Now the emphasis is on the active management of systems and operating them to maximum advantage in the face of growing travel demand and capacity limitations. Combined developments in technology and the world economy have accelerated change to almost unpredictable levels. The change affects many areas and transport is not an exception. With new vehicle technologies, radical policies and the persistent growth in private and commercial vehicles, a new changing transport landscape is emerging.
One of these changes comes in the form of sustainable transport management - managing the demand of existing infrastructure networks. The role of demand management has been illustrated in many reports and papers and it seems that governments are becoming more aware of it. This paper focuses on one particular demand management policy that is often regarded as radical and generally unacceptable. Road pricing often gets delayed or abandoned due to controversy, disagreements, unanticipated problems and a whole host of other delaying factors. There are complex interactions in transport management - there is a need for cooperation between networks, stakeholders and different authorities.
Single measures that focus on 'sustainable transport' usually address a limited set of objectives and are not usually combined with other policy measures. When combined, it is sometimes unclear whether the multiple interactions between policy tools and implementation networks have been considered. An emerging case of implementation of a policy package in the UK is the support of road pricing initiatives combined with public transport improvements by the Transport Innovation Fund.
The paper will present a review of the UK road pricing situation along with key implementation factors that show firstly the importance of combining policy tools and secondly the necessity in creating and maintaining strong implementation networks.

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