When road pricing is economically inappropriate or politically unacceptable, alternative ways must be sought to limit the external costs of traffic congestion. This paper discusses some economic problems in implementing a road pricing policy, considers the strengths and weaknesses of various alternatives, and outlines some cities' experiences of adopting such alternatives. Road pricing can be criticised for its 'simplicity', expense to introduce and enforce, and undesirable distribution impacts. In addition, congestion costs are only one externality of road traffic, and there is controversy about how to spend the receipts of road pricing. Alternative approaches to reducing traffic congestion include: (1) allowing congestion to ration road space; (2) parking charges; (3) public transport subsidies; (4) fuel taxation; (5) vehicle licence fees; (6) road building; (7) physical limits on the quantity of traffic; (8) traffic control; (9) improved telematics; (10) land-use planning; and (11) encouraging alternatives to transport. Some brief comments are made on several instruments, including alternative fiscal measures and regulatory policies, which are used in practice to control urban traffic congestion. The success of these alternatives has been variable and limited. For the covering abstract, see IRRD 885092.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 175-92

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00729817
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 3-909162-00-2
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 26 1996 12:00AM