Di Ciommo, Floridea and Monzón de Cáceres, Andrés and Comendador Arquero, Julio
Road transport social costs in Spain: a new rationale for pricing policy.
In: "12th World Conference on Transport Research 2010", 11/07/2010 - 15/07/2010, Lisboa, Lisboa.
Like all EU countries, Spain should design and promote a fair and homogeneous generalized road pricing scheme. Tolls should vary according to infrastructure damage, degree of congestion, risk of accident, and environmental nuisances. An initial study (Spanish road pricing model project: META) of interurban transport pricing has been carried out at national level, considering the valuation of the internal and external costs to define efficient road pricing schemes of different type of roads and appropriate price levels in different interurban road contexts, shifting from a toll for financing infrastructure construction to a toll for recovering social costs. The META project has developed an easy-to-apply pricing methodology, based on a bottom-up approach. The main variable is the AADT -daily flow- applied to accurately estimate generalized road transport costs for each kind of vehicles and each type of road. Based on the current Spanish road network, the META model estimates all social costs: internal costs (fuel, vehicle maintenance, labor, insurance and tax) and external costs (infrastructure, congestion, accident and environmental nuisances). Computed for the 13,156 Km of interurban highways network, the model calculates the costs for each vehicle type (Car, HGV, LGV and bus) and for each road network section following the interurban road characteristics (AADT, capacity and traffic composition for each section of highway network). The two main results of META model for costs in terms of policy implications suggest to moderate the construction of new interurban road infrastructures in Spain and to analyze congestion before to built new metropolitan roads. If we decide for a road pricing scheme based on the environmental, accident and infrastructure costs, because of the reduced number of the congestion situation, we can use the average external costs that are very similar to the marginal external costs.