The basic idea of charges is to give road users better price signals that will affect their travel behaviour. Road users will think more carefully about the amount of trips made, timing of trips, route and choice of mode.
The main motives of using road user charges in Europe have been traffic system financing, reduction of environmental impacts of traffic, traffic management by congestion charging and equality of heavy goods vehicles regardless of nationality.
This study aimed at increasing knowledge on road user charges and their impacts in Finland.
Four scenarios were analysed to see how road user charges could impact traffic volumes, state tax revenues from traffic and transport emissions at the level of forecasted traffic in 2015.
The scenarios assessed show that the implementations of road user charges for heavy goods vehicles and passenger cars on the whole network are not yet acute in Finland. The most potential case of road user charges for heavy goods vehicles is on main road Vt7, which carries a large share of international heavy goods vehicle traffic. The results also show that in the future regulative congestion charges should be debated as a potential transport policy measure in urban areas.
This study indicates that the possible progress towards road user charges in Finland should be phased. If there is a need to study limited road user charge implementations in more detail, main road Vt7 can be a potential case.