Assessment of public responses to policies designed to internalise environmental and social externalities associated with the transport sector in New Zealand
An integrated approach to the environmental and social externalities associated with the transport sector was explored within an omnibus biennial survey of peoples’ perceptions of the New Zealand environment carried out in 2006. Survey respondents were provided with information about greenhouse gas emissions, road and pollution-related deaths, and about direct consumer costs attributable to transport. They were then asked to evaluate four options considered most likely to result in reductions to one or more of these impacts. These options involved introducing or increasing road user charges, reducing the open road speed limit, fuel use efficiency standards, and mandatory exhaust gas quality standards for all cars. Results indicate an overall unwillingness to adopt these measures. Policy makers are nevertheless faced with the challenge of improving land transport sustainability and are therefore in the unenviable position of recommending best performing but least politically damaging policy options. To this end it appears that policies that target particular combinations of impacts are more likely to be supported than those that are more open-ended and generally aim at internalising the overall impacts of road use. However, it is also clear that vehicle users are more likely to support targeted policies that are unlikely to be the most effective in reducing these particular impacts or combinations thereof. This is because the most effective policies would involve all drivers, and have immediate impacts. Notably, however, female respondents and those using public transport were more likely to be supportive of options that would likely have the greatest overall benefits. Lessons for policy makers can be drawn from this study, including how to improve the targeting of policy options to particularly difficult but potentially influential groupings.... [Show full abstract]
TypeConference Contribution - Published (Conference Paper)
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