How to solve traffic jams

In this must watch TED Talk Jonas Eliasson describes his experience of introducing congestion charging into Stockholm. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject. It will be 8 minutes well spent!

In many respects Reading shares similar problems with Stockholm. Water means that there are bridges creating bottlenecks. His main points are :-

  • You don’t need to tell people how to change their behaviour, they will find their own solutions
  • Since congestion is non-linear the 20% reduction in journeys after the introduction of the charge meant a huge reduction in congestion
  • People increasingly went from being against congestion charging to being for it after experiencing the benefits
  • The congestion only came back after the trial ended. Once the charge was re-introduced the congestion remained stable and significantly lower than pre-charge introduction

What works to solve congestion?

Traffic is awful. It causes pollution. It stressed people out. …So, how do we fix it? According to UCLA’s Michael Manville, there are a lot of proposed solutions, but only one — congestion pricing — really works

More on the alternatives to the MRT

Reading Borough are considering a congestion charge trial

ANPR as a low-cost alternative to the proposed East Reading MRT

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