Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 136, Issue 1, pp 45-51

First online:

An empirical study of estimating vehicle emissions under cordon and distance based road user charging in Leeds, UK

  • Anil NamdeoAffiliated withInstitute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds Email author 
  • , Gordon MitchellAffiliated withSchool of Geography, University of Leeds

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This paper presents the impact of road user charging (RUC) on vehicle emissions through application of traffic assignment and pollutant emission models. It presents results of an analysis of five RUC schemes on vehicle emissions in Leeds, UK for 2005. The schemes were: a £3 inner ring road cordoncharge; a double cordon with a £2 inner ring road and a £1 outer ring road charge; and distance charges of 2, 10 and 20 p/km levied for travel within the outer cordon. Schemes were compared to a no charge option and results presented here. Emissions are significantly reduced within the inner cordon, whilst beyond the cordon, localised increases and decreases occur. The double cordon exhibits a similar but less marked pattern. Distance charging reduces city-wide emissions by 10% under a 2 p/km charge, 42–49% under a 10 p/km charge and 52–59% under a 20 p/km charge. The higher distance charges reduce emissions within the charge zone, and are also associated with elevated emissions outside the zone, but to a lesser extent than that observed for cordon charging.


Emissions Road user charging Leeds