Cost Benefit Analyses of Road Pricing in The Netherlands
GOMMERS M J P F, VAN SCHIJNDEL M Y, Netherlands Economic Institute, KLEIJ-N H J, Ministry of Transport, The Netherlands
Over the last decade different forms of road pricing have been on the political agenda in Holland. Different concepts have been under study and insofar no system of this kind has been implemented. Was Borins (1988) fight when he published his paper tiffed
Over the last decade different forms of road pricing have been on the political agenda in Holland. Different concepts have been under study and insofar no system of this kind has been implemented. Was Borins (1988) fight when he published his paper tiffed: "Electronic road pricing: an idea whose time may never come"?
Yet, in Holland the realisation of road pricing seems to come near. The Dutch Minister of Transport has aunotmeed the introduction for 2001 in order to improve the accessibility by road, in the Randstad area (the most populated region in the west of Holland bounded by the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht). The term road pricing (in Dutch: rekening rijden) is being used in Holland commonly for what is referred to in literature as congestion pricing. Although the planned system does in no explicit way charge for environmental externalities, we shall use the term road pricing throughout this paper.
The tight political agenda urges for many studies and technical development in a narrow time frame. These studies are co-ordinated and partially performed by a special project team of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. The project team directly gives advice to the Minister on the decisions to be taken. When writing this paper no political choice for a particular road pricing scheme has been done yet.
In order to assess the costs and benefits of the preliminary set up of the proposed road pricing system, the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management has asked the Netherlands Economic Institute (NEI) to carry out a Social Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA). Actually CBA's of two different schemes of road pricing have been done and compared as part of the study. This in order to get underlying information for the choice of which system to detail any further. The study has been supervised by a steering committee in which not only representatives from several ministries were present, but also representatives of other interested parties (Chamber of Commerce, organisation of trade and industry). The final results of the study were presented to the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management in early May this year.
The special project team for road pricing has a heavy duty in guiding the concept of road pricing into a real life implementation. In order to avoid any possible problems that could jeopardise the narrow implementation time schedule, the Minister of Transport has decided that for the moment no intermediate results may be published. Unfortunately this decision just arrived during the preparations for this paper. Therefore the reader will be frustrated in looking for outcomes of the study. The authors hope to be allowed to present these results at the PTRC conference early September, just after the political debate on the topic. The paper will focus alternatively on the set up of the study.
Association for European Transport