A concept in the right place at the wrong time: congestion metering in the city of Cambridge

2009-03-18T09:17:33Z (GMT) by Stephen G. Ison
In the early 1990s the concept of congestion metering was considered in the context of the city of Cambridge. A trial was undertaken in October 1993 but it did not proceed beyond this stage. Why was this so? The paper attempts first to outline the reasons why the city of Cambridge presented an ideal opportunity for the implementation of some form of urban road pricing scheme, with the level of congestion experienced and the nature of the city itself being central issues, and second, why congestion metering failed to advance beyond the field trial. In this respect its timing and level of sophistication can be viewed as important contributing factors. In order to further the debate interviews were undertaken over the period May to June 1996 with 21 local actors, namely politicians and officials who had direct contact with and knowledge of congestion metering in Cambridge between October 1990 and October 1993. That was the period of time over which congestion metering was being considered in Cambridge. The paper concludes that congestion metering in the context of Cambridge city was a concept in the right place but essentially at the wrong time.