Costs and benefits of ‘Circular Sunday’

The ‘Circular Sunday’ initiative has a range of positive welfare impacts (CO2 reduction, improved air quality, improved traffic safety, health gains, reduced noise nuisance, less dependence on foreign countries, fuel savings), depending on the type of road, but also leads to travel time losses for road-users and policy costs for the government. Most benefits are due to reducing the recommended speed on motorways. On provincial roads and in built-up areas the CO2 cuts are modest or even negative, because vehicle engines may be less efficient at speeds below 80 km/h (and in lower gear).