Factors driving public support for road congestion reduction policies: Congestion charging, free public transport and more roads in Stockholm, Helsinki and Lyon

Publisher's full text
Carl J. Hamilton
Per Näsman
Claire Papaix

Based on an across-the-board survey conducted among residents of Stockholm, Helsinki and Lyon, we explore the opinions on three policy measures to combat road congestion: congestion charging, free public transport and building more roads. The support for the two latter policies is substantially higher than the support for congestion charging, which is only supported by a majority in Stockholm. Self-interest is important for the formation of the opinion to all three policies. However, fundamental values and general political views, indicated by four attitudinal factors, are even more important in forming opinions towards the three transport policies. Of all attitudinal factors, the one indicating environmental concern most influences the support for all policies. Equity concerns, however, increase the support for free public transport and opposition to taxation increases the support for building more roads. Our results further suggest that the opinions towards free public transport and building more roads can be mapped along the left right political axis, where Environment and Equity are to the left and Pricing and Taxation are to the right. However, the opinion towards congestion charging cuts right through the political spectrum. The impact of the fundamental values and self-interest variables are similar for Stockholm and Helsinki, indicating that even if experience increases the overall support for charging, it does not change the relative strength of different political arguments to any major extent.

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