David Hensher – Should Motorists Pay for Congestion they Cause?

June 13, 2011

I enjoyed listening to David Hensher on congestion charging and other traffic management tools at an IPART conference last year.

I hope to hear him speaking this Wednesday at the Reserve Bank in Martin Place on a similar topic – the information below comes from this link: http://www.ecosocnsw.org.au/UPCOMINGEVENTS.aspx#465

Presenter: David Hensher
Topic: Should Motorists Pay for Congestion they Cause?
Time: 12:15 pm for 12.30 pm, Wednesday 15th of June 2011. Presentations usually conclude by 1.15 pm to 1.30 pm
Venue: Ground Floor East Seminar Room, Reserve Bank of Australia, 65 Martin Place, Sydney
Cost: Free (for Economics Society members), light refreshments provided
RSVP: Please respond to ecosoc@ecosoc.org.au

Roads are possibly the most underpriced in terms of user contributions of all the public assets that we avail ourselves of. Regardless of whether some believe that governments should provide more road capacity to combat traffic congestion, it is an undeniable fact that if we provide more capacity under the existing road user pricing regimes (registration and fuel pricing only), then more cars will use the roads, quickly using up the additional capacity. The great sadness about all of this is that there is a presumption that we all have rights to enter the traffic and delay all other motorists, yet not contribute to the true cost associated with delay and lost time – the curse of congestion. This results in a predictable ‘tragedy of the commons’. This talk is part of an ongoing  conversation to discuss replacing fixed charges with car use related charges, with congestion charging regimes included as one part of a future variable user
charging policy.

David Hensher is Professor of Management, and Founding Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS): The Australian Key Centre of Teaching and Research in Transport Management in the Business School at The University of Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA) and has won many awards. David is on the editorial boards of 10 of the leading transport journals. He has published over 450 papers in leading transport and economics journals and in many books.