Congestion charges are not a new concept and have been introduced to cities with heavy traffic like London.
Qatar could soon introduce congestion, highway, and road-specific charges as part of measures to manage traffic, a plan by the Ministry of Transportation showed, local news outlet Al Watan reported.
The move entails easing high traffic during peak hours, boosting the efficiency of the transportation system, and promoting safer, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly alternatives, the report said.
The plan confirmed an attempted shift away from the use of private vehicles by introducing traffic fees on the roads, including a proposed congestion area, as well as parking fees.
Overall, the transportation mega-plan includes 33 plans to handle transportation requests, including four for imposing fines on highways in congested areas, four for introducing road fines, thirteen for parking fees, and four other Department of Transportation procedures.
Eight other plans will also be implemented before 2050 to enhance the management and operation of transportation networks.
It is unclear when the congestion charges will officially start. However, the move has been implemented around the world.
Congestion charges around the world
In the United Kingdom, the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) in Central London is active between 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Within this zone, most cars and vehicles are subject to a fee known as the London Congestion Charge.
The move was introduced to the capital after officials from the UK travelled to Singapore and adopted its Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system
For each non-exempt vehicle driven within the zone, a standard daily fee of £15 is due from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, with a penalty of between £65 and £195 imposed for non-payment.
Automatic number-plate recognition is primarily used to enforce the charge around the specified area.
Although these changes cannot be directly attributed to the congestion charge, it is possible that the scheme helped to reduce traffic volumes in London by 10% from baseline levels and by 11% overall between 2000 and 2012.
Transport Master Plan for Qatar 2050
Qatar’s Transport Master Plan for Qatar 2050 serves as a roadmap for investing in land transportation infrastructure to develop the nation’s transportation networks.
The plan takes into consideration land uses, urban development and population growth to meet future transportation demand.
Given the significant influence that sustainability has on both economic and environmental development, the MoT states that it has placed both at the centre of the plan, with particular focus on reducing environmental concerns.
Increased revenues and the advantages of reduced trip lengths, lower fuel and energy costs, lower carbon emissions, and fewer accidents on the road are expected to contribute to the plan’s economic benefits.