Editorial, road user charging

2009-03-16T14:11:57Z (GMT) by Stephen Ison Howard Potter
The chief purpose of road user charging is to tackle congestion and to bring about a more efficient use of the road network. Other objectives can include revenue raising and the funding of transport improvements. Some of the problems encountered in progressing road user charging are due to the lack of clarity of these objectives. It is not a new concept and can be traced back in the economic literature to the work of such as Pigou1 and Walters.2 It also received attention with the publication by the UK Ministry of Transport3 in 1964 of what became known as the Smeed Report. This report focused on the economic and technical possibilities of road pricing. While there is a great deal of literature relating to road user charging there are very few schemes in existence worldwide, which is due in no small measure to its lack of public acceptability.