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Chapter 3 | Congestion charging as an alternative strategy

Figure 3.1 Broad classification of congestion charging systems

}

Charging point

(on entry/exit to

section of road)

Facility charging:

Vehicle moves

along lane

Facility

Charging point

(on entry/exit to

section of road)

Charging point

(on entry/exit)

Charging point

(on entry/exit)

Charging point

(on entry/exit)

Charging point

(on entry/exit)

Cordon charging:

Vehicle crosses

zone boundary

Charging point

(on entry/exit)

}

Area

charging:

Vehicle is within zone

(moving/stationary)

3.2 The attraction of congestion charging

Congestion charging is often presented as the ‘magic bullet’ that solves the problems

that have hitherto beset road network providers and road users alike. As observed by

an influential community group in Washington State:

Higher pricing during high-use hours, lower pricing at less-congested times, has

support across the political spectrum, in large part because it works so well to adjust

supply and demand, and is paid by those actually using the roads (Meacham and

Marshall 2008).

Congestion charging potentially delivers three major benefits to road users:

• smoother flow of traffic increasing the amount of traffic that can flow on the

network.

• the overall traffic speed can be increased, notably at the peak times when traffic

would otherwise be facing stop-start movements.

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