Building acceptance for congestion charges - the Swedish experiences compared

Publisher's full text
Erik Hysing

Lack of public and political acceptance is the main barrier to introducing congestion charges. Here we compared the experiences of congestion charge introduction in the Swedish cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg, with the aim of explaining differences in political and public acceptance. The results showed the importance of procedural factors, such as the consistency of objectives in policy packages, communication and marketing efforts, and the use of public referendums, and of contextual factors, including urban form, level of congestion, and functioning of public transport.

Important lessons were drawn between the two cities, but primarily on how to design, rather than secure public acceptance for, a congestion tax scheme. To build acceptance for congestion charges, close attention must be paid to the local political and geographical context when designing and implementing such a scheme.

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