Over the past decades, ERP has been successfully implemented as a congestion management tool in a number of oversea cities. Whilst these overseas schemes vary in terms of charging
philosophy and technology and operate under different social contexts, they have some common basic elements. The experience of these overseas schemes, provides useful pointers from which
Hong Kong can learn.
Durham, United Kingdom
The Durham Road User Charge (“Durham Scheme”) was the first congestion charge scheme introduced in the United Kingdom in 2002 before the London Congestion Charging Scheme, to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in the Durham peninsula by encouraging ‘out-of-hours’ use of the area and creating safer and more attractive streets.
The Durham Scheme brought about traffic benefits to the charging area. Traffic volume dropped by 85% and pedestrian activity increased by 10% in 2003. The revenue was used to support a frequent bus service to and from the charging area.
The Gothenburg Congestion Tax ("Gothenburg Scheme") was introduced in 2013 with three objectives: road traffic congestion management, financing transport infrastructures
and services, and improving the environment.
The Gothenburg Scheme brought both traffic and environmental benefits to the charging area. In 2014, traffic volume and travel time on corridors dropped by 10% and 10-20% respectively across cordon, while public transit ridership increased by 6%. In term of environmental benefit, the regional carbon dioxide ("CO2") level was reduced by 2.5%. The revenue was re-invested on public transport infrastructures and small road projects.
London, United Kingdom
The London Congestion Charging Scheme ("London Scheme") was first introduced in 2003 to reduce road traffic congestion within central London and to encourage motorists
to use other modes of transport. The revenue was re-invested for improving London's transport infrastructure and public transport.
The London Scheme brought both traffic and environmental benefits to the charging area. In the first 3 years of the scheme introduction, traffic volume dropped by 16%, travel delays reduced by 30% and public transit ridership increased by 18%. Environmental benefits were remarkable with carbon dioxide ("CO2"), nitrogen oxides ("NOx") and respirable suspended particulates ("PM10") levels dropped by 16%, 13% and 16% respectively.
The congestion charge in Milan was first introduced in Cerchia del Bastioni (historical center) in 2012 to reduce road traffic flow. The Scheme seeks to improve public transport networks, raise funds for soft mobility infrastructures and improve the quality of life by reducing traffic accidents, uncontrolled parking as well as noise and air pollutions.
The Milan Scheme brought about traffic and environmental benefits to the charging area. Traffic volume dropped by 34%, while travel delay was reduced by 17% in congestion with bus and tram speeds increased by 7% and 4.7% respectively. Environmental benefits were notable with carbon dioxide ("CO2"), nitrogen oxides ("NOx"), fine suspended particulates ("PM2.5") and respirable suspended particulates ("PM10") levels dropped by 22%, 10%, 40% and 19% respectively. The revenue was re-invested in the Milan Scheme for sustainable mobility. 5
The Singapore ERP Scheme (“Singapore Scheme”) was first introduced in 1998 and replaced manual Area Licensing Scheme for managing road traffic congestion. The Singapore Government is planning for a new ERP system for implementation in 2020.
The Singapore Scheme brought significant traffic benefits to the charging area. Traffic volume dropped by 10-15% in 1998 after the implementation of ERP in the same year and further dropped by 20-30% with extensions of the system over the years. The revenue was placed in the Government’s Consolidated Fund for investing other programs.
The Stockholm Congestion Tax Scheme (“Stockholm Scheme”) was introduced in 2007 to reduce road traffic congestion and improve the environment in central Stockholm.
The Stockholm Scheme brought both traffic and environmental benefits to the charging area. Traffic volume dropped by 20%, travel delays were reduced by 33% and public transit ridership increased by 5%. In terms of environmental benefits, the carbon dioxide ("CO2"), nitrogen oxides ("NOx") and respirable suspended particulates ("PM10") levels were reduced by 13%, 8% and 13% respectively in 2007.
Valletta, Republic of Malta
The Valletta Controlled Vehicular Access system (“Valletta Scheme”) was introduced in 2007. The configuration of infrastructure takes into account the aesthetic preservation of the city.
The Valletta Scheme brought significant traffic benefits to the controlled vehicular access zone. There was 50% reduction on duration of stay of a vehicle in the charging zone from averaged 3 hours 30 minutes in October 2006 to 1 hour 45 minutes in June 2007.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition ("ANPR")
Surveillance cameras on ERP poles or gantries located at the entrances, exits and within the charging areas capture images of the license plates of all vehicles to cross-check against charge payment records.
Dedicated Short Range Communication ("DSRC")
DSRC readers mounted on roadside gantries are used to identify in-vehicle units (“IVUs”) installed in vehicles. Once the vehicles pass under the gantries, the IVU will be recognised by the readers. Bearer negotiable cards would be inserted to the IVUs for payment purpose.
Global Navigation Satellite System ("GNSS")
This system uses distance measurements from satellites to determine when a vehicle enters a charging area and the distance it clocks in that area. Satellites are required for determining the position of the vehicle.
To improve its accuracy, the system requires the installation of roadside location service devices coupled with surveillance cameras.
Radio Frequency Identification ("RFID")
A vehicle is provided with a sticker tag embedded with a unique identifier, which can be read by a roadside RFID unit to identify the vehicle. The sticker tags are usually installed inside the windscreen or outside the headlamp of the vehicle.
Last Revision Date: 11 September 2018
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