Congestion charge impacts on air quality

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This variable page was created for the purpose of the Congestion charge assessment.

Question

How does the congestion charges affect the air quality in the cities?

How much can levels of most common traffic air pollutants such as PM10, CO2 and NOx be reduced as a result of a congestion charge implementation?

What is the effects of the congestion charge on air quality in the area affected and what is the affect in the surrounding areas?

What are the impacts of different congestion charge schemes on air quality?

Boundaries

The question can be applied in general, but for the purpose of the Congestion charge assessment the boundaries are set by the Helsinki city limits. The impacts of congestion charges take into account the current situations - available knowledge and can be updated.

Answer

There is evidence from several cities that congestion charges have improved air quality.

Rationale

There was a 15% reduction in total road use in Stockholm in 2006 congestion charge scheme, leading to the reduction of NOx emissions by 8.5% and PM10 decrease for 13% [1]. There was also a significant reduction of NOx, PM10 and CO2 emissions in London, after they have introduced a congestion pricing scheme [2], [3]. On the other hand, stationary traffic can result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants which negatively affect the air quality [4]. Still, if the traffic flows are reduced, the pollutant emission also decrease over time [5]. Study in Stockholm showed that in case the congestion pricing in Stockholm wouldn’t have taken place in 2006-2010, then, during the same period, the air would have been 5-10% more polluted which would lead to a 45% increase in asthma attacks in young children [6]. The congestion charge scheme in London had only initially reduced the traffic flow, then the levels were increased again [7], besides, a report from 2011 showed that there hasn’t been a great improvement to the air quality in London due to congestion charge scheme [8].

Congestion charge impacts on air quality(Available data on air quality effects of congestion charge)
ObsYearCityAir quality parameterAir quality effected due to congestion charge inmplmentation
12006StockholmNOx8.5% reduction of emissions
22006StockholmPM1013% reduction of emissions
32005LondonNOxsignificant reduction of emissions
42005LondonPM10significant reduction of emissions
52005LondonCO2significant reduction of emissions

See also

Congestion charge

Talk:Congestion charge

Keywords

Congestion charge, air quality, impacts, Helsinki

References

Related files

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Congestion charge impacts on air quality. Opasnet . [8]. Accessed 20 Jan 2019.