Acceptability and Effectiveness of Road User Charging

Acceptability and Effectiveness of Road User Charging


S Jaensirisak, A D May and M Wardman, ITS, University of Leeds, UK



A major barrier to the implementation of road user charging is how to design a scheme that is simultaneously acceptable to the public and effective in achieving its objective. In order to design acceptable and effective schemes, we need to understand how the public values the benefits of schemesand how public acceptance and travel behaviour varies according to system features. These have not been well explained in previous studies of road user charging schemes.

The objective of this paper is to examine the effects of road user charging benefits (car and bus travel time reduction, environmental improvement and revenue use) and of the system features (charging levels, charging methods, charged times and charge areas) on acceptability and effectiveness.

Acceptability was measured by whether respondents would vote for hypothetical charging schemes in astated preference (SP) experiment. Hence, we arrive at measures of different degrees of acceptability, rather than a single measure of acceptability or not. Effectiveness was reflected by stated mode choice behaviour in response to the schemes. The effects of personal characteristics and perceptions on acceptability and effectiveness were also explored.

In this paper, the development of both the voting behaviour and mode choice models is demonstrated. The models presented were estimated on the SP responses of 830 respondents from Leeds and London. The effects of personal characteristics (mode used, income, gender, age and location) and perceptions (of the current travel situation, congestion and pollution problems, and the effectiveness of the schemes in reducing the problems) on voting are also investigated using segmentation analysis. This explores the extent to which results differ among groups of the public. Then the study examines taste variation among individuals, which arises from unobserved sources and is unable to be captured by the segmentation of respondents. This is achieved through the use of the random parameters logit model.

In using the models developed, the results of prediction of acceptance and car use reduction for variousroad user charging schemes are illustrated. Relationships between acceptability and effectiveness are also discussed, to examine whether highly acceptable schemes are less effective in influencing mode shift. Finally, suggestions on how to design acceptable and effective road user charging schemes are provided.


Association for European Transport