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The unexpected "yes": Explanatory factors behind the positive attitudes to congestion charges in Stockholm

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Author Info

  • Eliasson, Jonas
  • Jonsson, Lina

Abstract

Several authors have argued that acceptability for road pricing is likely to increase with familiarity. The experiences in Stockholm, where a trial period with congestion charges changed the public opinion from negative to positive, support this hypothesis. Analysing acceptability and attitudes in Stockholm allows us to study a situation where the population is in fact familiar with congestion charges, and explore what the decisive factors for acceptability are in such a situation. By analysing a survey collected after the referendum and the subsequent reintroduction of the charges, we analyse the prerequisites to achieve acceptability given that the public is familiar with congestion charges. As expected, low car dependence and good transit supply are associated with high acceptability. But the two most important factors turn out to be beliefs about the charges' effectiveness, and general environmental attitudes. The importance of beliefs and perceptions of the effects of the charges underscores the importance of both careful system design and careful evaluation and results communication. The strong connection between environmental concerns and positive attitudes to congestion charges underscores the importance of considering and "marketing" the charges' environmental effects. In Stockholm, the politicians' decision to "re-label" the congestion charges to "environmental charges" and emphasising their positive effects on air quality may very well have had a positive impact on acceptability.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 636-647

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Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:4:p:636-647

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Related research

Keywords: Congestion pricing Acceptability Road user charging Political economy;

References

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  1. Eliasson, Jonas & Mattsson, Lars-Göran, 2006. "Equity effects of congestion pricing: Quantitative methodology and a case study for Stockholm," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 602-620, August.
  2. Harrington, Winston & Krupnick, Alan J. & Alberini, Anna, 2001. "Overcoming public aversion to congestion pricing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 87-105, February.
  3. Bjorn Harsman & John Quigley, 2011. "Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self Interest," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1477, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Eliasson, Jonas, 2009. "A cost-benefit analysis of the Stockholm congestion charging system," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 468-480, May.
  5. Schade, J. & Baum, M., 2007. "Reactance or acceptance? Reactions towards the introduction of road pricing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-48, January.
  6. Bonsall, Peter & Shires, Jeremy & Maule, John & Matthews, Bryan & Beale, Jo, 2007. "Responses to complex pricing signals: Theory, evidence and implications for road pricing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 672-683, August.
  7. Gudmundsson, Henrik & Ericsson, Eva & Hugosson, Muriel Beser & Rosqvist, Lena Smidfelt, 2009. "Framing the role of Decision Support in the case of Stockholm Congestion Charging Trial," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 258-268, March.
  8. Winslott-Hiselius, Lena & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Vagland, Asa & Byström, Camilla, 2009. "The development of public attitudes towards the Stockholm congestion trial," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 269-282, March.
  9. Thorpe, Neil & Hills, Peter & Jaensirisak, Sittha, 2000. "Public attitudes to TDM measures: a comparative study," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 243-257, October.
  10. Isaksson, Karolina & Richardson, Tim, 2009. "Building legitimacy for risky policies: The cost of avoiding conflict in Stockholm," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 251-257, March.
  11. May, A. D. & Liu, R. & Shepherd, S. P. & Sumalee, A., 2002. "The impact of cordon design on the performance of road pricing schemes," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 209-220, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eva Heiskanen & Oksana Mont & Kate Power, 2014. "A Map Is Not a Territory—Making Research More Helpful for Sustainable Consumption Policy," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 27-44, March.
  2. Eliasson, Jonas & Börjesson, Maria & van Amelsfort, Dirk & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Engelson, Leonid, 2013. "Accuracy of congestion pricing forecasts," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 34-46.
  3. Hensher, David A. & Li, Zheng, 2013. "Referendum voting in road pricing reform: A review of the evidence," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 186-197.
  4. Andreas Koulouris & Ioannis Katerelos & Theodore Tsekeris, 2013. "Multi-Equilibria Regulation Agent-Based Model of Opinion Dynamics in Social Networks," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 11(1), pages 51-70.
  5. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas & Hugosson, Muriel & Brundell-Freij, Karin, 2012. "The Stockholm congestion charges – five years on. Effects, acceptability and lessons learnt," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:3, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  6. Beck, Matthew J. & Rose, John M. & Hensher, David A., 2013. "Environmental attitudes and emissions charging: An example of policy implications for vehicle choice," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 171-182.
  7. Michael Manville & David King, 2013. "Credible commitment and congestion pricing," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 229-249, February.
  8. Yusuf, Juita-Elena (Wie) & O’Connell, Lenahan & Anuar, Khairul A., 2014. "For whom the tunnel be tolled: A four-factor model for explaining willingness-to-pay tolls," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 13-21.
  9. Vonk Noordegraaf, Diana & Annema, Jan Anne & van Wee, Bert, 2014. "Policy implementation lessons from six road pricing cases," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 172-191.

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