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Road pricing : a transport geographical perspective. Geographical accessibility and short and long-term behavioural effects

By T. Tillema


The introduction of a road pricing measure leads to changes in the transport costs on (certain) roads in a network at a certain time, possibly influencing the geographical accessibility of (groups of) people or firms at certain locations. Geographical accessibility indicators or measures give the opportunity to gain a quick and interpretable insight into the (accessibility) effects as a result of changes in the land-use or transport system (e.g. caused by certain policy interventions). These characteristics also make accessibility indicators a useful policy tool to assess (transport geographical) effects due to transport pricing, possibly in addition to economic welfare analyses. Despite the possible advantages of using geographical accessibility as a policy evaluation tool, geographical accessibility indicators have not been used to evaluate road pricing effects. This may in part be caused by the fact that geographical accessibility measures in their basic form are not directly applicable to road pricing. This thesis aimed to provide (greater) insight into how to model realistic geographical accessibility effects due to pricing measures. This was studied on the basis of a desk study and a simulation study. The study has shown that it is possible to determine accessibility effects due to road pricing in a relatively easy way with tailored geographical accessibility measures. However, the effects are sensitive to how accessibility is computed. In addition to geographical accessibility, this study also aimed to gain greater insight into the behavioural intentions of households and firms as a result of road pricing. The thesis focused specifically on the longer-term behavioural (relocation) effects of households and firms. However, short-term (trip) changes were also analyzed since short-term and longer-term behavioural changes are expected to be interdependent. It was found that people intend to adjust their behaviour when a road pricing measure is introduced. As can be expected more people intend to make changes in their car trip behaviour than in their residential and job locations. However, relocation effects do seem to occur, and are not negligible at all. As is the case with households, more firms intend to change their trip behaviour than their settlement location due to road pricing. Again, settlement relocations are certainly not negligible. Although relocation effects are not insignificant, especially households and firms that already have an intention to relocate within two years are intending to relocate due to road pricing. Moreover, road pricing also seems to have an influence on the actual decision where to locate when a decision to relocate has already been taken (e.g. due to another reason). By using state-of-the-art statistical estimation techniques, this thesis also analyzed characteristics of people and firms who have a lower or higher intention to change their current behaviour

Topics: Sociale Geografie & Planologie, road pricing, behavioural effects, pricing policy, geographical accessibility, relocation households and firms, trip change, kilometre charge, cordon chare, stated preference, stated choice
Publisher: Utrecht University
Year: 2007
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