An ex-ante analysis of transport impacts of a distance-based heavy goods vehicle charge in the Netherlands

In 2017, the newly installed Dutch government announced in its coalition agreement to introduce a distance-based heavy goods vehicle charge, similar to the charges levied in other European countries. To study the possible transport impacts, the authors applied available models and methods in preparation for the introduction of this truck charge in the Netherlands in 2023, in order to present decision information to the government on different aspects of the charge. In this paper the authors present the analysis of different implementation scenarios for a distance-based truck charge. Different behavioural responses can be expected in terms of freight transport demand, mode choice, logistic efficiency, and route choice. Many studies however lack sufficient detail to properly describe the impact of road charges for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) on origin and destination (OD) flows and freight traffic. In their contribution the authors explore the bandwidth of impacts of different pricing schemes, using strategic transport models for freight demand and traffic assignment, with detailed modal split and route choice models, ensuring a proper representation of generalised transport costs. The authors explain how they use available transport models in an overarching analytical framework to make a comprehensive impact assessment of the different responses, and to decompose the impacts on the different responses. Final impacts are quantified in terms of freight demand (spatial pattern of transport flows), modal split and traffic flows (route choice, and congestion). Depending on the pricing scenario the tonne kilometres decrease by 0.4%–4.8% on average. The modal shift impacts are stronger on longer transport distances: this is explained both by the larger impact of a distance-based charge on these routes, and by higher substitution possibilities to barge or rail. The results indicate that the overall impacts of the introduction of the different charging alternatives are moderate. However, the network impacts at local level can be substantial due to the impact of re-routing of truck trips to avoid charge.


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  • Accession Number: 01780173
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2021 2:55PM