New analysis of intelligent road pricing and its benefits to society
Increasing road traffic is the cause of increasing problems with road congestion, noise, and climate change. The annual cost to society from road congestion is estimated to be about DKK 24 billion (approx. EUR 3.2 billion) and road transport is the cause of 28 per cent of Danish CO2 emissions. The Danish society can therefore potentially gain much by improving transport policy. The purpose of this report is to provide a proposal for future-proof transport policy, such that the external effects of transport, especially congestion and climate changes, are handled in the best possible way. We analyse a country-wide road pricing system, where a charge is levied for each kilometre of which cars, lorries, and vans drive on Danish roads. The system consists of three components:
- a basic charge, which is independent of the time and place of which a vehicle drives on Danish roads
- a time- and place dependent charge, which increases in steps depending on the level of congestion Our findings suggest that the road pricing system can reduce congestion by a half in the area surrounding Copenhagen and by 20 per cent in the rest of the country. Furthermore, traffic will be reduced, leading to a reduction of CO2 emissions by 5 per cent. We propose a road map for the introduction of road pricing in Denmark. The road map includes a stepwise introduction of road charging, where first lorries, then vans and finally cars are encompassed by the road pricing system.