Introducing kilometre pricing
By changing vehicle taxation to a variable kilometre-based rate, drivers in Rotterdam were made more aware of the costs of using their car.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Congestion is a major problem in the densely populated Rotterdam region. One frequently suggested approach to traffic problems in urban areas is to introduce congestion charging, imposing variable tolls on congested stretches of road at a level high enough to reduce the number of cars using it. For political reasons, this approach had not been implemented in Rotterdam.
As an alternative to the fixed-level taxation system in place at the time of measure implementation, it was decided to introduce a system of variable kilometre pricing on national roads leading towards the city centre. The overall strategy was the responsibility of the national Ministry of Traffic and Transport, and the following tasks were part of the TELLUS project for Rotterdam:
- to define demand management and revenue strategies for kilometre pricing;
- to implement kilometre pricing and monitor its effects; and
- to investigate pricing variability per region or per time of day.
Kilometre pricing depends on national policy decisions about road pricing. Following the launch of the TELLUS project, the composition of the national government changed twice and the position of road pricing in the new national policy on mobility remained unclear for a long time.
As a result, it was agreed to change the focus of the kilometre pricing measure from implementation to preparation. A seminar on the topic was organised by the Regional Traffic and Transport Department VVC-R for stakeholders in the Rotterdam region. A representative from the City of London spoke on the congestion charging scheme and a representative from the National Transport Council of the Netherlands spoke on proposals for kilometre pricing in the Netherlands. A panel of politicians discussed the possible impact of the scheme in Rotterdam.
During the TELLUS project, the kilometre pricing initiative at the national level first suffered serious delays and was then stopped. The possibility emerged of an alternative road pricing policy, but in the end it became clear that this would not be implemented during the TELLUS project.
Kilometre pricing was therefore placed on the political agenda, awaiting new policy decisions.