The External Costs of Road Transport: A Case Study of Turkey

The External Costs of Road Transport: A Case Study of Turkey

Eda Ustaoglu (Gebze Technical University, Turkey) and Arif Cagdas Aydınoglu (Gebze Technical University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4610-2.ch013
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This chapter focuses on the estimation of marginal and total external costs of road transportation in Turkey in terms of accidents, air pollution, climate change, noise, and traffic congestion. The study estimates marginal external costs for cars, light commercial vehicles (LCVs), heavy duty vehicles (HDVs), busses, and motorcycles, which comprise total vehicle fleet stock of the Turkish road transport sector. The researchers reviewed the literature of both local and international studies for the quantification and monetisation of the specified external costs of road transport. This will provide a base for the future studies on Turkish transport research and transport policy appraisal guidelines. The authors conclude that accidents are the most important externality of road use and that local air pollution and congestion appear to be more important than noise and climate change. This implies that priority should be given to road accidents, air pollution, and congestion alongside noise and global warming.
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Although transportation sector has a significant share in the national income accounts, it generates side effects, through its negative impacts on public health and on the environmental resources. These effects are known as external effects, such as congestion, road crashes, air pollution, noise, impacts on climate change and water resources; and the costs associated with these are called ‘external costs’. Externalities are effects arising from a purchase or use decision by one set of parties that fall on people other than the purchaser or the user (Verhoef, 1994; Boundreaux and Meiners, 2019). Therefore, users are not aware of the impacts of their activities on the society and do not channel this into their purchasing patterns or behavioral decisions. According to the welfare theory, internalisation of external costs through the use of market-based instruments may result in a more efficient use of transport infrastructure, reduce the negative impacts of transport activity on the society and environment, and enhance equity between transport users.

There is abundant literature on the subject, in which negative externalities have drawn the most attention (Mayeres et al., 1996; Griffiths et al., 2019). Regarding road transport externalities, Newbery (1994) pointed to travel delays stemming from road congestion, road damage and accidents as the most relevant externalities covered by the literature. The bulk of literature focusing on travel delays has examined road congestion mainly from economic point of view. Among the studies that focused on models of road pricing in relation to congestion, we can refer to Stopher (2004), Small and Verhoef (2007), Croci (2016), and de Dios Ortuzar et al. (2021). A comprehensive review on road congestion theory and practice can be found in Emmerink et al. (1995), Levinson (2010), Beaudoin et al. (2015) and Gu et al. (2018). Differently, Vitaliano and Held (1990), and Hau (1995) examined road damage externalities through developing theoretical models and searching for policy implications. However, there are more studies researching on accident externalities and relevant policy tools needed to control of externalities. Some examples include: Edlin and Karaca-Mandic (2006), Saito et al. (2010), Dementyeva et al. (2015) and Muehlenbachs et al. (2021).

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