Did the London Congestion Charge Reduce Pollution?

Recent vehicle charging schemes aim to reduce pollution and other congestion externalities. The authors reexamine the London congestion charge introduced in 2003 and demonstrate significant reductions in several pollutants relative to controls. The authors even find evidence of reductions per mile driven suggesting amelioration of a congestion externality. Yet, they find a more robust countervailing increase in harmful NO₂ likely reflecting the disproportionate share of diesel vehicles exempt from the congestion charge. This unintended consequence informs on-going concern about pollution from diesel-based vehicles and provides a cautionary note regarding substitution effects implicit in many congestion charging schemes.


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  • Accession Number: 01751783
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 12 2020 3:10PM