This objective of this chapter was to analyze the effects of the traffic restraint policy introduced in 2001 in and by the Paris municipality, and to sketch a comparison with the policy introduced in London at about the same time – with the proviso that the geographic, economic, demographic, institutional, historic and political contexts are very different. The results do not speak highly in favor of the French policy. In both cases, the stated objectives of reducing traffic have been achieved. But success in itself is not enough. One must also see how and to what cost it has been obtained. In London, it has been achieved by means of a toll, and accompanied by an increase in motor vehicle speed, generating a time gain for car users, and also for bus users, and a small environmental gain. In Paris, the main policy instrument has been the reduction of road space for motor vehicles, which led to a decrease in motor vehicle speed, but failed to increase bus speed and patronage. The policy generated a considerable time loss for car users and for goods delivery vehicles, and even environmental losses, without gains for public transport users. The only benefit seems to have been a small one for bicycle users: 0.4 per cent of all losses. The downside for the London policy is the implementation cost, which is high, but which can be expected to decline over time.

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Published on 01/01/2008

Volume 2008, 2008
DOI: 10.4337/9781848441453.00021
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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