Beyond Direct Road Tolls - Some Examples and Experience

Beyond Direct Road Tolls - Some Examples and Experience


H Chua, IM Technologies Limited, UK



Several European countries have built many motorways with direct tolls as a means to mitigate the impact on the depleted State coffers. More recently, Britain, which kicked-start the chain reaction, and selected European Union countries have by-passed direct tolls in involving the private sector to finance, construct, operate and maintain roads.

This paper looks at some alternative payment mechanisms, including shadow tolls, availability fees, congestion and safety performance, and penalties, and the experience with these alternatives. Drawing on practical experience, where available, it aims to provide useful insights into the characteristics of different mechanisms, to dispel some myths/misunderstandings and to set some outlook pointers.

Following the introductory section the paper provides a brief summary of direct tolls to provide the context for why employ other payment mechanisms. This is followed by descriptions of the alternative payment mechanisms and their variants in section 3. Section 4 provides details on practical applications and experience of these mechanisms to date. The key features, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, myths and misunderstandings, are discussed in the penultimate section. The final section explores further development of alternative payment mechanisms and sets some pointers for the future.


Association for European Transport