Assessing Possible Impacts of Workplace Charging and Investments on Traffic Levels in the West Midlands
VUREN T VAN, Mott MacDonald, UK
The recent report 'Tackling Congestion and Pollution' shows a move away from national traffic reduction targets to more local benchmarks or yardsticks. The need for, and effectiveness of carrot and sticks in major conurbations will be different from other
The recent report 'Tackling Congestion and Pollution' shows a move away from national traffic reduction targets to more local benchmarks or yardsticks. The need for, and effectiveness of carrot and sticks in major conurbations will be different from other areas, and a matrix of benchmark profiles envisaged by the Commission for Integrated Transport will need to be derived using best local knowledge and support. Stick measures will include increased read user charges.
In 1999 a major piece of research work was carried out for the Govemment Office for London assessing the acceptability and possible impacts of various types of read user charging, which has received a lot of publicity. In the West Midlands (including Birmingham) similar model work has been carried out to assess the potential impacts of various types and levels of workplace charging on vehicle kilometrage and modal split. Such an assessment is of importance as the West Midlands is one of the areas selected for trial implementation of workplace charging.
In the context of the envisaged benchmark profiles, these types of assessment can illustrate the relative importance and effectiveness of carrots (investment of the revenue raised) and sticks (increased cost of motoring). Finally, it may serve as an independent test on the sensitivity of the London charging modelling results with regard to techniques and assumptions used. The modelling was carried out with the West Midlands Strategic Transport Model, a multi modal modal of the West Midlands area.
The paper will present the assumptions made regarding charging and responses, borrowing from the London research where necessary. It will present the effectiveness of charging alone, and combined with the associated effects of spending the revenue on public transport investments. A third component in this balance of carrots and sticks is the possible need for re-allocation of read space to PT improvements, and its effect on travel patterns and traffic flows.
We will discuss the levels of charging required to achieve noticeable changes in traffic growth, and any differences with the London work, and the more general WS Atkins work will be investigated to distinguish local influences and generally applicable findings, hopefully furthering the debate on realistic (desirable, measurable and achievable)road traffic reduction targets.
Association for European Transport