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Operation and maintenance of freight transport infrastructure
Sub-study 1: Definitions and pricing principles

This sub-study is part of an Interdepartmental Policy Study (IPS) on freight transport user charges, the main aim of which is to assess how the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs of government-operated transport infrastructure can best be passed on to shippers using that infrastructure. The study covers road and rail transport and inland shipping. In this first sub-study certain basic concepts such as ‘user-variable’ are defined. There is also a qualitative discussion of a number of pricing principles that might serve as a framework for possible allocation of O&M costs to infrastructure users. Finally, three policy variants are defined that are elaborated and quantified in the rest of the IPS:
  1. The zero scenario, providing a review of current infrastructure charges and a description of current policy in this area.
  2. A variant in which only user-variable costs are allocated to users.
  3. As variant 2, but with additional allocation of fixed costs (i.e. full allocation of all O&M costs to users).


Huib van Essen

Delft, April 2004

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