Traffic expert calls for city toll for Hamburg to reduce congestion

In an interview with the local newspaper Schleswig-Holsteiner Zeitung (SHZ), the Hamburg traffic researcher Wolfgang Maennig explains how congestion in the city can be reduced by a temporary city toll.

In an interview with the local newspaper Schleswig-Holsteiner Zeitung (SHZ), the Hamburg traffic researcher Wolfgang Maennig explains how congestion in the city can be reduced by a temporary city toll.

As Wolfgang Maenning says in the SHZ interview, demand must be steered by financial incentives when a commodity becomes scarce. He therefore demands a toll charge, which is particularly high during rush hour between 7 and 9 o’ clock in the morning. At other times, however, the toll will be significantly cheaper or will no longer apply. According to the SHZ interview, this measure will help to better manage car traffic, so that road capacity can be used more evenly.

When asked whether a city toll is unfair to commuters, Maenning replies as follows: “Yes and no”. In extreme cases, Maenning proposes to use the toll revenue for a premium system in order to pay the poorer earners a premium if they voluntarily drive outside peak hours.

However, Maenning also emphasizes that Hamburg’s transport policy is generally good. “Everything is relative,”says Maenning to the SHZ reporter. According to Maenning, Hamburg as a whole has no greater congestion problem than other comparable cities in Germany and Europe.

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