Congestion charge in Stockholm proved successful over time

In Sweden, congestion charges were introduced for a six month trial period in Stockholm in 2006, before being introduced as a permanent measure in 2007.

The results of this study suggest that congestion charging can work over the long-term, supporting plans to introduce such charges in other cities across Europe. The findings also demonstrate that some concerns about the charges, such as increased congestion on other routes, are not supported by the evidence, and that public acceptability may increase over time.

Despite the cost of the average journey has fallen in real terms costs, traffic volumes were consistently reduced, suggesting the charges were having a progressively greater effect as people found it easier to adapt in the long-term and find alternative routes or use other forms of transport.

Researchers looked also at public and political acceptability. Support for congestion charges grew from 36% in 2006 to 70% in 2011.

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Source: Borjesson, M., Eliasson, J., Hugosson, M. B. & Brundell-Freij, K. (2012). The Stockholm congestion charge – 5 years on. Effects, acceptability and lessons learnt. Transport Policy. 20: 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2011.11.001.