Congested motorway

Charging and Access Control

Reduction of traffic levels across networks or in targeted areas is often a goal of transport authorities - for environmental, economic and social reasons.  Some of the most effective ways of achieving traffic reduction involve combining fiscal or regulatory measures with complementary smarter choices strategies and transport network improvements.  These “hard” demand management measures include road user charging (also known as road pricing or congestion charging), workplace parking levy schemes, access control schemes and low emission zones – in all of which we have extensive expertise and experience.

ITP team members have worked with many UK local authorities on assessment, research and planning studies on road user charging or workplace parking levy schemes and strategies. These include authorities in Bristol, Belfast, the East Midlands, Nottingham, Leeds, London, Hampshire, the West Midlands and Scotland. We have also worked with the Department for Transport to develop national guidance on road user charging, and have a unique blend of international experience from major projects in Hong Kong and in European cities.  In the area of regulatory measures, Nick Ayland of ITP was previously DfT’s national Clear Zones project coordinator and made key contributions to a UK national study on access control schemes.  He also worked on key aspects of the study that led to establishment of the London Low Emission Zone.



  • Scheme design
  • Outline technological system design
  • Cost estimation
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Attitudinal surveys
  • Business consultation
  • Appraisal of social impacts
  • Appraisal of economic impacts
  • Financial modelling


arterial route into city centre

Project Examples


East Midlands 6Cs congestion management study – ITP played a major role in this £2million TIF-funded study of how packages of demand management measures centred on road user charging could be used to combat growing traffic congestion in the area in and around the cities of Leicester, Nottingham and Derby.  We were responsible for:

Appraisal of road user charging schemes and packages for Bristol. - ITP was part of a team of consultants who undertook a major project for Bristol City Council on the appraisal of road user charging (RUC) and LRT schemes. The objectives of the study were to define in detail a preferred RUC scheme for the city, to define a preferred package of complementary measures to reinforce the scheme, and to provide an impact assessment of alternative package options. The study involved the development of a new multi-modal model for Bristol, including an RUC response model developed from stated preference survey data.  This project followed on from a previous feasibility study in which ITP team members had undertaken an initial strategic appraisal of RUC options for Bristol.

Congestion management feasibility study in the West Midlands - as part of the West Midlands congestion management feasibility study (funded by DfT’s Transport Innovation Fund), ITP undertook an initial assessment of equity impacts likely to arise from alternative congestion management strategies combining road user charging with other complementary measures. This included literature research, qualitative assessment and quantitative assessment building on accessibility and other modelling.  In a second phase of the study, we carried out the formal appraisal of social and distributional impacts as part of business case preparation. This involved a range of analyses and research activities, including gathering and analysing qualitative and quantitative data using surveys, focus groups, stakeholder consultations with community groups and GIS analyses. ITP also provided expert advice and input on road user charging scheme operation, system design and cost estimation as part of the business case preparation activities.

Fife Council – appraisal of equity issues from Edinburgh RUC proposals - . ITP team members worked on two studies to consider the equity issues for travellers and residents of Fife arising from the proposed introduction of road user charging by Edinburgh City Council. The main objective of the two studies was to identify whether equitable arrangements could be demonstrated between those that pay the charge, contribute to congestion, and benefit from transport projects in which RUC revenue is invested. Nick Ayland subsequently appeared as an expert witness at the public inquiry into the proposed RUC scheme on behalf of Fife Council.

Workplace parking levy and road user charging options for Nottingham - ITP undertook a strategic comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the potential application of road user charging and workplace parking levy measures for Nottingham City Council.  This was completed in the context of complementing and financially supporting Nottingham’s plans for extending the Nottingham tram network (NET Phase 2). The comparison used a range of criteria and drew on evidence from studies and research on road user charging and workplace parking levies that ITP team members had previously undertaken.  This included a Nottingham road user charging feasibility study conducted for the Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership and earlier research on workplace parking levy scheme implementation issues carried out for the Council.

Clear Zones Coordinator - Nick Ayland (now of ITP) was Coordinator of the DfT-funded Clear Zones initiative from 2004-5, working with a range of organisations (local and central government, as well as private sector organisations) to develop, promote and evaluate the Clear Zones concept. Clear Zones combines demand management measures such as access control with ITS and new vehicle technology to achieve town and city centres that are economically vibrant but have an attractive and clean environment.

Studies of road user charging and workplace parking levy options in Hampshire - ITP was part of a team charged with exploring feasible regional RUC options for south east Hampshire. This major study examined a number of different charging schemes including cordon charging, entry permits, area licensing and distance-based charging - the potential impacts of which were assessed and compared under a NATA style appraisal.  In parallel with this, Nick Ayland led a linked study team charged with assessing the feasibility of introducing road user charging or a workplace parking levy scheme in Basingstoke, on behalf of Hampshire County Council.

CONCERT and PROGRESS European research projects - Nick Ayland played a leading role in the CONCERT/ELGAR demonstration and evaluation of ITS-based pollution reducing transport strategies in Bristol, including a pioneering trial of road user charging with volunteers on a busy arterial corridor.  He went on to work with Bristol City Council and partners from seven other European cities who are active in road user charging, within the EC-funded PROGRESS demonstration project.

Hong Kong Transport Department Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) Feasibility Study - Jamie Wheway (now of ITP) served as Transport Strategy team leader for this ground-breaking and award-winning project in Hong Kong . Jamie had particular responsibilities for development of an ERP transport model, specification of model runs, assessment and evaluation of alternative ERP strategies, and identification of a preferred strategy including charge rates, charge area, exemptions, and complementary measures. He was responsible for day-to-day liaison on transport planning and modelling matters with Transport Department.

Northern Ireland charging scheme option assessment studies - Nick Ayland led a study to conduct an assessment of road user charging and workplace parking levy (WPL) scheme options for Belfast and assessment of WPL for other Northern Ireland towns. This involved appraisal of a range of potential impacts, as well as potential public acceptability and financial and technological issues. This study built on an earlier feasibility study that Nick also led looking at RUC options for Belfast.

Airport road user charging studies – ITP worked with Mott Macdonald to examine the applicability of road user charging at UK airports.  We followed this up with a specific feasibility study of implementing an airport access charging scheme at a major UK airport.  This included an examination of the costs and airport user issues surrounding four potential alternative charging scheme options, and assessment of the localised impacts on traffic and airport operations.