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Regulatory restrictions
SummaryTaxonomy and descriptionFirst principles assesmentEvidence on performancePolicy contributionComplementary instrumentsReferences

Policy contribution

Contribution to key objectives

Objective

Bologna

Barcelona

Sao Paulo

Athens

Efficiency

4

3

2

 

Liveable streets

3

3

2

 

Protection of the environment

3

3

2

 

Equity and social inclusion

3

3

1

 

Safety

3

2

1

 

Economic growth

2

2

0  

Finance

-2

-2

-3

 

1= Weakest possible positive contribution,5= strongest possible positive contribution
-1= Weakest possible negative contribution-5= strongest possible negative contribution
0= No contribution


Contribution to alleviation of key problems

Problem

Bologna

Barcelona

Sao Paulo

Athens

Congestion-related delay

4

3

2

 

Congestion-related unreliability

4

3

2

 

Community severance

3

3

2

 

Visual intrusion

3

3

2

 

Lack of amenity

3

3

2

 

Global warming

3

3

2

 

Local air pollution

3

3

2

 

Noise

3

3

2

 

Reduction of green space

3

3

1

 

Damage to environmentally sensitive sites

3

3

1

 

Poor accessibility for those without a car and those with mobility impairments

4

3

1  

Disproportionate disadvantaging of particular social or geographic groups

3 2 0  

Number, severity and risk of accidents

3 2 1  

Suppression of the potential for economic activity in the area

2 2 1  

1= Weakest possible positive contribution,5= strongest possible positive contribution
-1= Weakest possible negative contribution-5= strongest possible negative contribution
0= No contribution

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Appropriate contexts
Regulatory restrictions are applicable to any city, but implementation will be more acceptable in cities where:

  • there is a critical problem of traffic congestion
  • there is (or there is provision for) a good public transport network
  • it is not easy to increase the road network capacity for the urban fabric or structure


On the other hand, low traffic volume areas as is rural areas will have little effect because these areas have little through traffic. In low congestion areas, some retail and business may move their offices to avoid the restrictions.

Appropriate area-types

Suitability

Central business district

4

High density inner residential areas

3

Medium density residential areas

2

Low density outer suburbs, mainly residential, but possibly with some retail, business or industrial parks

1

Isolated single occupant business sites

1

Small towns

0

Rural area

2


1= Least suitable area type5= Most suitable area type

Adverse side effects
The main adverse side effect in number plate restrictions is the encouragement to buy an additional car. This is likely to increase more congestion than there would have been without implementation. In permit systems, the extension of the ring-shaped connecting streets on the periphery of a restricted area would have the unfavourable side effect of accelerating and attracting car traffic. These are measures which lead in the opposite direction to reduction of car use principles.

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Text edited at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT