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Acceptability of the German Charging Scheme for Heavy Goods Vehicles: Empirical Evidence from a Freight Company Survey

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While several European and national studies have dealt with the acceptability of road pricing schemes for passenger transport, only sparse research is available on this issue for freight transport. Against this background, the paper deals with the acceptability of the German road user-charging scheme for heavy goods vehicles by the road haulage industry. It presents the findings of an internet-based survey with German road freight operators from which responses on a variety of attitude questions and on a stated-preference exercise regarding the use of revenues were collected. The study shows that the German transport industry recognizes the severity of transport-related problems such as neglected road maintenance and congestion. The general idea of distance-related road user charging is accepted but the scheme is not considered to be effective in reducing traffic on motorways or increasing efficiency of transports. Using the charging revenues within the road sector, e.g. without any form of cross-subsidising other modes of transport, is decisive for making the charging scheme acceptable for German road hauliers. This is reinforced by the responses on the stated preference exercise where a trade-off between charge level and use of revenues has been revealed. German hauliers would even accept higher charges than currently raised if revenues were used for road maintenance and relief of bottlenecks.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Berlin, Germany

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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