Integrated Motorways Toll Schemes in the Italian Region of Lombardy
D Fiorello, F Torta, R Scatamacchia, TRT Trasporti e Territorio Srl, IT
The paper reports the main outcomes of a study aimed at investigating the feasibility of applying integrated motorways toll schemes in the Italian region of Lombardy.
The paper reports the main outcomes of a study aimed at investigating the feasibility of applying integrated motorways toll schemes in the Italian region of Lombardy. The current situation in this region, such as in the rest of national territory, is that different tolls are applied on different infrastructures just because tolls have been agreed with the concessionaires (and sometimes with local authorities) in different times and in different circumstances. Furthermore, new infrastructures are planned in Lombardy according to project financing schemes and the tolls envisaged for such new motorways bring additional heterogeneity.
The study reported here focuses on a set of different issues (from the: legal, regulatory, economic, and financial points of view), as well as on the actions to be undertaken in order to introduce toll schemes that may be considered ?optimal?. The expression ?optimal toll? refers to a solution which is better than others according to not only economic and financial considerations, but also to environmental issues, transport related matters (such as levels of service, travel times), and fairness problems towards the users of the road network. Modelling simulations have been carried out using a transport model which has been already used to assess other Italian areas and for the DIFFERENT research project, co-funded by the European Commission DG TREN.
Several relevant conclusions can be drawn from the study. First, an integrated toll scheme aimed at eliminating discrepancies between motorways is hardly neutral in terms of revenues when compared to the current situation. Namely, since tolls envisaged for new motorways are generally much higher than tariffs applied to existing roads, any integrated toll defined at an intermediate level will cause a revenue loss and make private investments unsustainable. If the integrated toll scheme is designed to protect revenues, the objective can be met for the whole network and not for any infrastructure. Therefore a distributional issue (among the various concessionaires) arises. Also, one condition for revenues neutrality is that also part of the ordinary road network is tolled, which may be politically challenging.
Association for European Transport