On a visit to Australia this month Dr Ã˜yvind Isaksen, the president and chief executive of Norwegian transport technology specialist Q-Free, told iTWire that “If you remove any kind of charge from the road then the volume will increase.”
He said that when a pilot congestion charging system was turned off in Stockholm the volume of traffic rose 30 per cent and pollution levels increased 20 per cent. When the charging system was reinstated traffic volumes fell 30 percent and pollution levels dropped 20 percent.
He anticipated a similar congestion surge would dog users of the M4 once the tolls were lifted.
Q-Free also supplied the Electronic Toll Collection technology being used on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. That is now being used as part of a bid to better manage congestion by charging higher rates to cross the bridge during peak periods than during quieter times. Although peak periods remain busy on the bridge, Q-Free said that the RTA had reported that the congestion management system had pushed more traffic out into the shoulder periods to somewhat smooth the flow of traffic.
continued page 2