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How the Transport System can Contribute to Better Economic and Environmental Outcomes in the Netherlands

Listed author(s):
  • Tomasz Koźluk


Congestion has become a burden for the Dutch economy. Commuters and businesses are suffering from the time lost in traffic and the unreliability of travel time. Expanding infrastructure can potentially solve such problems, albeit only in the long term and at a high cost. Thus short to medium-term solutions will have to be oriented at improvements in the use of existing infrastructure, more efficient public transport and better demand management. In this light the Dutch government proposed an innovative country-wide road pricing scheme. This scheme aims to make users pay for road usage and could bring about significant benefits in terms of lower congestion and less pollution. The full benefits of road pricing can be reaped by adjusting the prices to encourage more efficient economic and environmental outcomes. If the implementation of a fully-fledged road price system is delayed or aborted, the government should rely on alternative measures such as fuel taxation and congestion charges to obtain similar outcomes. Reforms to the transport system, including public transport, together with a more flexible housing market should reduce the economic and environmental burden of transport, thereby improving prospects for sustainable long-term growth. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Survey of the Netherlands ( netherlands). Comment le système de transport peut contribuer à de meilleurs résultats économiques et environnementaux aux Pays-Bas La congestion est devenue une charge pour l’économie néerlandaise. Les migrants alternants et les entreprises pâtissent des pertes de temps que les transports leur occasionnent et de l’imprévisibilité de la durée des déplacements. Un renforcement des infrastructures peut résoudre le problème, mais seulement dans le long terme et à grands frais. A moyen ou court terme, la solution doit donc être recherchée dans la rationalisation de l’utilisation de l’infrastructure existante, l’amélioration des transports publics et l’amélioration de la gestion de la demande. Dans cette optique, le gouvernement néerlandais a proposé d’instaurer un système national novateur de tarification routière qui oblige les usagers à payer pour l’usage qu’ils font des infrastructures routières et qui pourrait être source d’avantages appréciables en termes de réduction de la congestion et de la pollution. L’ajustement des prix permettra de maximiser les retombées économiques et environnementales de la tarification routière. Si la mise en oeuvre d’un système complet de tarification routière est retardée ou empêchée, l’État devra faire appel à d’autres mesures telles que les taxes sur le carburant ou les péages de congestion pour arriver à des résultats comparables. Les réformes du système de transport, notamment des transports publics, de même qu’un marché du logement plus flexible, devraient réduire la charge que les transports font peser sur l’économie et l’environnement et améliorer, ainsi, les perspectives de croissance durable à long terme. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Etude économique des Pays-Bas de 2010 ( surveys/netherlands).

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 804.

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Date of creation: 06 Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:804-en
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