Highway authorities are divided as to whether to charge road users the average cost of road maintenance or the social marginal cost of road use, which includes not only the extra maintenance costs, but also the increased vehicle costs attributable to the road damage caused by vehicle passage. The fundamental theorem, derived in this paper, states that in a steady state with a consistent (but not necessarily optimal) maintenance policy the two concepts are identical for zero traffic growth on uncongested roads for a wide class of road damage and vehicle operating cost functions, and approximately equal in other cases. This result greatly simplifies the problem of calculating road user charges. It does not, however, deal with two other important components of road user charges -recovering the original capital costs, and assimulating congestion costs. It strengthens the case for allocating maintenance costs in proportion to the damaging power of different vehicles (i.e. heavy lorries). (TRRL)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Centre for Economic Policy Research

    6 Duke of York Street
    London,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Newbury, D M
  • Publication Date: 1985-4

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 24 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00451350
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CEPR Disc Pap 59
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1986 12:00AM