The socioeconomic impact of limiting heights of heavy vehicles—The case of Norway

All undertakings in the transport sector should be subject to some form of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as part of an informed decision-making process. CBA is used in this paper to advise the Norwegian government on the impact of limiting the height of heavy vehicles to 4.0 m, as suggested in European Union's Directive 96/53/EC. Currently, Norway does not limit the height of vehicles. The authors use the vehicle height measurements taken from the Norwegian road network and calculate the costs and benefits that would result if the directive were implemented. The results reveal, in maximum, that (i) limiting vehicle height to 4.0 m would increase the distance travelled by Norwegian heavy vehicles by approximately 1.66%; (ii) annual road haulage costs would increase by approximately 1.2 billion NOK; (iii) the annual costs of CO₂ emissions would increase by approximately 20 million NOK, and the annual costs of NOₓ emissions would increase by 14 million NOK; and (iv) the annual cost of road accidents would increase by 10 million NOK. The results show that the regulation, if implemented, would cause Norway to experience socioeconomic loss of approximately 24.6 billion NOK over 25 years in maximum. Furthermore a sensitivity analysis with respect to expected increase in vehicle kilometers travelled indicates that the conclusions derived are robust. This paper thus advises the government not to implement the regulation. The government has listened to the advice provided in this paper and decided not to support the proposal limiting vehicle height because it would cause adverse effects for haulers and for the economy in general. Hence, the authors urge the continued use of CBA to aid decision making in the transport sector.


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  • Accession Number: 01538062
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2014 9:54AM