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BITRE | Working paper 74

Table 5.1

The long gestation for nation-wide congestion charging in Britain

Date Title Other details

1964 Road Pricing–the economic and

technical possibilities

Known as the Smeed Report, this appears to be the first

government‐commissioned report to advocate the use of

congestion charging to influence road use. This report drew

heavily on Buchanan 1952 and Walters 1954, 1968).

1967 Better towns with less traffic Commissioned by the Ministry of Transport, concluding that

direct road pricing was the most effective means of traffic


1993 Green Paper Paying for Better DOT (UK) 1993.

Motorways: Issues for Discussion

1996 Congestion on the Trunk Road Network DETR (UK) 1996.

1998 A new deal for transport: better for


Congestion to be tackled through ‘better use of pricing’.

(DETR (UK) 1998).

1998 (Dec.) Breaking the logjam The Government’s consultation paper on fighting traffic

congestion and pollution through road user and workplace

parking charges (DfT (UK) 1998).

1999 (Aug.) Transport and the economy: full report


2000 Modelling using the National Road

Traffic Forecasting Framework for

Tackling Congestion and Pollution and

Transport 2010

2000 (July) Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan DETR (UK) 2000.

2001 (Mar.) Meeting the local transport challenge

2001 Seventh report drawing special attention

to the following: Road User Charging

(Enforcement and Adjudication

2001 (Dec.) Perceptions of Congestion—report on

qualitative research findings

Congestion pricing floated as a way of decoupling traffic

growth and economic growth.

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

House of Lords Joint Committee on Statutory Instuments


DfT (UK) 2005.

2002 (Feb.) Paying for road use Report by the independent advisory body (CfIT (UK) 2002a,


2002 (Dec.) Progress Report on the 10 Year Plan

2003 (July) Managing our roads A discussion paper contributing to the overall review of the

Government’s 10 Year Plan for Transport, focusing on the

strategic issues we face on the road network (DfT (UK)


2004 (July) Road pricing feasibility study This study examined how the implementation of congestion

charges for road use could help make better use of road

capacity, exploring whether and how road pricing might work

(DfT (UK) (2004). The study concluded that a nation‐wide

system of congestion charges could reduce congestion by half

and provide major air quality and other benefits.

2004 (July) The Future of Transport: White Paper

CM 6234

Government response to the feasibility study. We must build

a public consensus around the objectives for road pricing

and how to use the revenues (Transport Secretary, Alistair

Darling) (DfT (UK) 2004a).

2004 (Dec.) Guidance on Local Transport Plans Central Government asked authorities that might be

interested in’ exploring innovative approaches to solving

local congestion’ (including congestion‐related charges) to

submit a preliminary expression of interest by the end of

January 2005.

2005 (Mar.) Road pricing, the next steps, volume I House of Commons Transport Committee 2005a.

2005 (Aug.) Road pricing, the next steps, volume II House of Commons Transport Committee 2005b.


BITRE compilation.


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