White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Measuring the marginal social costs of road transport: what are the most important elements?

Nash, CA, Shires, JD and Link, H Measuring the marginal social costs of road transport: what are the most important elements? Transport Policy. ISSN 0967-070X (Submitted)


Download (191Kb)


This paper analyses the state-of-the-art in estimating the social marginal cost of road transport. We show that the methods, though still being subject to uncertainty, are sufficiently advanced to be used for policy purposes. However, a genuine social marginal cost pricing would require a full set of estimates for all circumstances due to the location and situation specific character of social marginal cost. We therefore suggest an approach to generalise available cost estimates and transfer them to policy situations for which a fully fledged, bottom-up calculation of social marginal costs does not exist. We present results from this approach for two case studies, e.g. for Central London and for the international road freight corridor Rotterdam-Milan. We conclude that in the peak period congestion costs are the most important externality of road use, and that accidents, wear and tear and noise costs all appear to be more important than global warming. This suggests that the priority in dealing with transport externalities should not be in instruments focussed on greenhouse gas emissions alone, but in considering policy measures (such as congestion charging) to tackle with the other elements of transport externalities alongside with global warming costs.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2012 14:40
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 04:04
Status: Submitted
Publisher: Elsevier
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43663

Actions (repository staff only: login required)