This paper discusses whether toll modulation can contribute to freer traffic flow on motorways, and discusses three French experiments to test this method. The tests aimed to find out whether toll modulation can motivate drivers to: (1) drive during off-peak periods ('time modulation'); or (2) drive on less crowded alternative routes ('geographical modulation'). Time modulation was tested on the A1 motorway between Lille and Paris, where traffic jams often occurred on Sundays between 5pm and 9pm. After tolls were decreased by 25% during two 'green' periods (2.30pm to 4.30pm and 8.30pm to 11.30pm) and increased by 25% during a 'red' period, the previous 7pm peak was reduced by 13%. This system was implemented in April 1992 and repeated in following years. Another example of time modulation was tested in Albertville in February 1995 with good results. In the summer holidays of 1993 and 1994, geographical modulation was tested on the alternative routes between Lille and Beaune by applying lower tolls via Reims than via Paris. In 1994, 95% of drivers travelled via Reims, reducing congestion in the Ile-de-France. Geographical modulation was tested more recently on two variants of the Paris to Beaune route. In general, it was found that both time modulation and geographical modulation provide improved traffic management.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    World Road Association (PIARC)

    La Grande Arche, Paroi Nord, Niveau 5
    F-92055 La Defense Cedex,   France 
  • Authors:
    • Lafont, R
  • Publication Date: 1996-4


  • Undetermined

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00725486
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 26 1996 12:00AM