TRAFFIC RESTRAINT BY PRICING : EXPERIENCE FROM THE ITCHEN BRIDGE, SOUTHAMPTON

Southampton's Itchen Bridge was opened in June, 1977. One of three toll-setting criteria contained in the Southampton corporation act (1973) explicitly permits toll levels to be set to control the volume and composition of traffic flow over the bridge for the purposes of avoiding congestion and limiting adverse environmental impact in areas adjacent to the bridge. This represents the first deliberate introduction of traffic restraint by price in the United Kingdom. This paper explains the background and context for the construction of the bridge, the initial setting of the toll levels and the two subsequent changes. Within the limitations of available data the restraining influence of toll price on both flow and composition of traffic are examined. The toll level for heavy commercial vehicles was clearly designed to be intimidatory and has succeeded in its aim. H.c.v. Flow as a percentage of total flow using the bridge is tiny. Almost all h.c.v.'s crossing the bridge are locally generated, paying a special concessionary rate only available to local businesses. Traffic restraint has played a minor role in establishing the toll levels for other vehicles, thus firm conclusions on control of total vehicle flow are less easy to draw. Evidence from toll price changes, however, indicates an ability to coarsely control flow levels. It is concluded that Southampton's example demonstrates that toll pricing is an effective and flexible tool for control of vehicle flow and composition. The experience gained has relevance for specific strategies of traffic limitation as well as area-wide road pricing. (Author/TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Proceedings of Seminar P held at the PTRC 10th Summer Annual Meeting, University of Warwick, England.
  • Corporate Authors:

    PTRC Education and Research Services Limited

    110 Strand
    London WC2,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Atkins, S T
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1982

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 105-117

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00381614
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-111-6
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 30 1984 12:00AM