Strategies to manage barriers in policy formation and implementation of road pricing packages

Publisher's full text
James Macmillen
Jonas Åkerman
Florian Kressler

In the transport policy domain, as in other highly-contested spheres of public policy, it is commonplace for certain policy measures to emerge as promising only to then remain unimplemented. Road pricing is one example of a theoretically well-developed transport policy measure that has proven notoriously difficult to decide and implement. There are however lessons to learn from practice on how to manage barriers to policy formation and implementation also within this field. Drawing on the congestion charging schemes implemented in London in 2003 and Stockholm in 2006, and the Swiss Heavy Vehicle Fee scheme implemented in 2001, this paper identifies a selection of strategies which appear to have supported the policymakers' capacity to implement effective road pricing schemes. Together, these three examples offer a sound empirical basis from which to infer a set of strategies for the formulation and implementation of politically-contentious road pricing packages-addressing issues of measure combination, flexibility, legitimacy, communication, timing and organisational dynamics. While acknowledging the primacy of broader external and contextual issues, the conclusion is that taking inspiration from the strategies identified in this paper may increase the likelihood of successful policy package processes.

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