An ex-post evaluation of transport infrastructure charging policy

Update of the external cost Handbook and impact assessment of future legislative proposals 

 

Seventh Framework Programme

Customer: DG MOVE Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (European Commission)

Time Schedule: June 2012 – November 2013

 Final Report

 

Project consortium

This project’s consortium consists of five partners, which are all based in the EU. The project work is divided into four work packages. The project co-ordination is carried out by the Association of European Airlines (AEA).

AEA Technology plc (AEA)
UK
 Trasporti e Territorio Srl (TRT)      Italy
DIW econ GmbH  
Germany
Institute for Regional Research (IfR), Kiel University
Germany
Transport and Environmental Policy Research (TEPR) UK


Background and general project objectives

Article 11(2) of Directive 1999/62/EC amended by Directive 2011/76/EU on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures requires the European Commission to present a report to the European Parliament and the European Council on the implementation and effects of this Directive. The report shall also analyse, amongst others the effectiveness of the measures foreseen in this Directive in order to direct users toward the most environmentally friendly and efficient transport solutions and shall include information on the introduction of distance-based charges. It shall analyse scientific progress in estimating external costs of transport for the purpose of internalising them and progress towards applying charges to road users and ways of gradually harmonising the charging systems that are applied to commercial vehicles. The report shall also evaluate the use of electronic systems to levy and collect infrastructure and external-cost charges and their degree of interoperability pursuant to Directive 2004/52/EC".

Article 11(3) states also that "The report shall be accompanied, if appropriate, by a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council for further revision of this Directive". The Commission has subsequently included in its working programme 2012-2013 adopted on 15 November 2011 a possible initiative on road charging for 2013 (see COM(2011) 777).

The study conducted by this consortium provides analytical, economic and modelling support to the Commission in preparing this report and this possible initiative. It will include support in drafting an impact assessment which will provide an objective and balanced basis to determine the scope and timing of this future possible initiative on road charging of other possible further initiatives to accompany it in the most effective way including measures outlined in the 2011 Transport White Paper.

The study comprehends four tasks:

A        Firstly, it carries out an ex-post evaluation of the EC policy in the field of road infrastructure charging since 1995, including a comparative analysis with charging strategies in other modes, and provides all the necessary data and analysis for the preparation of the Commission report required under the EU legislation.

B        Secondly, the study provides more recent typical unit values of external costs by updating the “Handbook on estimation of external costs in the transport sector”.

C        Thirdly, the consortium supports the preparation of a Commission impact assessment of possible EU policy measures.

D        Fourthly, the consortium contributes to and supports the work of the Commission to organise a stakeholder consultation and make the synthesis of its results.

The consortium collects and analyses all the relevant data regarding road charging applied in the whole EU to road freight transport and with light passenger vehicles with a smaller degree of completeness. On the basis of the analysis, it assists the Commission to develop and design combinations of policy measures with a view to maximising the effectiveness of the possible proposed changes, and then assess them. Any gaps in the available data are filled by the consortium through conducting research.

The evaluation includes the assessment of the functioning of the current road charging rules (including their efficiency and effectiveness) and the cost of the lack of harmonisation (including lost opportunities in terms of efficient use of transport and the transport infrastructure). It deals with economic questions: impact of road charging on the price of transport and of end- products, impact on logistics behaviour, extent to which the charge is passed on to the shipper or is to be borne by the road haulier, impact on the conditions of competition of the road haulage sector in each country, cost of implementation for existing distance based charging systems (costs of toll collect in percentage) and an appreciation of what constitutes acceptable costs of implementation to keep the system efficient, level of use of electronic tolling systems, stage of development and maturity of the market of electronic toll suppliers (expected price reduction), relation between charges levied and revenues (use of revenues) in each individual Member States, and overall macro-economic impacts and impacts on regional development,. The evaluation also estimates the effects on the environment (CO2 and pollutants emissions), on road safety and on congestion. Finally, it also considers subsidiarity issues and the feasibility of European Commission strategies which maximise acceptability by stakeholders.

 

Contribution of the Institute for Regional Research (IfR), Kiel University

Project leader:  Prof. Dr. Johannes Bröcker

Project staff:     Henning Meier, Michael Holtkamp

The IfR supports DIW econ through the provision of content and critical comments in connection with the delivery of task B.

This task consists in updating, in the light of scientific progress and of the changing economic and environmental situation, the Handbook on the estimation of external costs in the transport sector produced within the study concerning the Internalisation Measures and Policies for All external Cost of Transport (IMPACT). The Handbook contains unit values of various kinds of external costs for various categories of vehicles.

The two consortium partners update and complete the unit values of the handbook by paying particular attention, although not exclusive, to road transport. They provide updated unit values:

  • for all major air pollutants, noise, congestion, the construction and maintenance of roads;
  • separately for each type of the whole range of road vehicles;
  • with a division into interurban, suburban and urban roads;
  • with a division according to the time of day.

 

The Institute for Regional Research is mainly involved with the updating of the unit values of the external costs of congestion.

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