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Traffic accidents and the London congestion charge

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  • Green, Colin P.
  • Heywood, John S.
  • Navarro, María

Abstract

In a rare effort to internalize congestion costs, London recently instituted charges for traveling by car to the central city during peak hours. Although the theoretical influence on the number and severity of traffic accidents is ambiguous, we show that the policy generated a substantial reduction in both the number of accidents and in the accident rate. At the same time, the spatial, temporal and vehicle specific nature of the charge may cause unintended substitutions as traffic and accidents shift to other proximate areas, times and to uncharged vehicles. We demonstrate that, to the contrary, the congestion charge reduced accidents and the accident rate in adjacent areas, times and for uncharged vehicles. These results are consistent with the government's objective to use the congestion charge to more broadly promote public transport and change driving habits.

Suggested Citation

  • Green, Colin P. & Heywood, John S. & Navarro, María, 2016. "Traffic accidents and the London congestion charge," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 11-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:133:y:2016:i:c:p:11-22
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.10.005
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    1. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:36-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Roesel, Felix, 2017. "Do mergers of large local governments reduce expenditures? – Evidence from Germany using the synthetic control method," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 22-36.
    3. Cheng Keat Tang, 2016. "Traffic Externalities and Housing Prices: Evidence from the London Congestion Charge," SERC Discussion Papers 0205, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    4. Valeriia Budiakivska & Luca Casolaro, 2018. "Please in my back yard: the private and public benefits of a new tram line in Florence," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1161, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Colin Green & John Spencer Heywood & Maria Navarro Paniagua, 2018. "Did the London Congestion Charge Reduce Pollution?," Working Papers 237385060, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    6. Munford, Luke A., 2017. "The impact of congestion charging on social capital," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 192-208.
    7. Shirlee Lichtman-Sadot, 2017. "Can Public Transportation Reduce Accidents? Evidence From The Introduction Of Late-Night Buses In Israeli Cities," Working Papers 1715, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    8. Alfredo Marvão Pereira & Rui Marvão Pereira & João Pereira dos Santos, 2017. "For Whom the Bell Tolls: Road Safety Effects of Tolls on Uncongested SCUT Highways in Portugal," GEE Papers 0074, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Jul 2017.
    9. Shirlee Lichtman-Sadot, 2018. "Can Public Transportation Reduce Accidents? Evidence From The Introduction Of Late-Night Buses In Israeli Cities," Working Papers 1803, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Traffic; Congestion externalities; Pricing; Vehicle accidents;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

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