Non-implementation of road pricing policy in the Netherlands: An application of the ‘Advocacy Coalition Framework’
The implementation of road pricing policies is dependent on political support for the policy. It is frequently argued that many pricing proposals fail to be implemented due to the opposition of one or a group of policy actors (e.g. political parties, interest groups). This study considers this issue and examines the reasons for non-implementation of proposals for Dutch road pricing policies by analysing the policy position changes of 26 major policy actors and the changes in consensus and conflict among these actors over a policy process of 16 years. The “Advocacy Coalition Framework” (ACF) is used as the theoretical lens. Our findings show that in the Netherlands non-implementation cannot be ascribed to only the opposition of one policy actor or to one group of policy actors, but rather to features of the Dutch political system/culture and complications peculiar to the road pricing subsystem (socio-cultural values related to mobility, complex design issues). We found that internal and external shocks, and policy-oriented learning affected the subsystem and alerted the power balance between pro-and anti-road pricing coalitions. However, these factors did not produce a major policy change, namely, the introduction of a road pricing scheme.