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Drivers should pay more – Heartland


26 June 2020

Drivers might have to pay more through mechanisms such as road user charging and workplace parking levies under plans to reduce single occupancy car use presented by non-statutory sub-national transport body England’s Economic Heartland. 

The EEH’s draft transport strategy includes an objective to reduce the number of car trips that are single occupancy by 20 per cent compared with 2020 by 2040.

The strategy says this will require consideration of demand management and good alternatives to car use.

A background report shows the results of modelling road pricing policies. The University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute and the University of Southampton explored different pathways to decarbonisation using a strategic transport model that forms part of the NISMOD (National Infrastructure Systems Models) modelling suite developed by the Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium.

The academics assumed that all motor traffic is zero emission by 2050. The modelling considered different policy approaches and their impacts on congestion and electricity use.

Presenting the results to the EEH’s strategic transport forum, officers recommended adopting two pathways: ‘highly connected’ and ‘policy-led behaviour shift’. 

“A combination of these two pathways presents a feasible route to decarbonisation for the Heartland,” said officers. “The proposed approach is deliverable and viable.” 

Officers said the mechanism to deliver an uplift in driving costs within a locality, as envisaged in the policy-led behaviour shift scenario, “is not specified but could be assumed to be models such as a pay-as-you-go, workplace parking levy, a congestion charge in urban areas or more simply a national road pricing initiative”.

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