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:
- The zero scenario, providing a review of current infrastructure charges and a description of current policy in this area.
- A variant in which only user-variable costs are allocated to users.
- As variant 2, but with additional allocation of fixed costs (i.e. full allocation of all O&M costs to users).