Client: Steve Platt, Cambridge Architectural Research <email@example.com>
It's hard for voters and taxpayers to assess what impact different funding policies will really have on their lives. The goal of this project is to create an online game that will enable users to explore issues of transport funding and, in particular, to measure their personal costs and benefits from road pricing. An underlying model provided by the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction can be used to simulate the key features of the Cambridge transport network, with users plotting a number of their typical journeys to create a baseline. They will then be given the opportunity to “purchase” benefits in the form of a range of transport infrastructure and service improvements, for example road quality and public transport. According to the choice of benefits made, the user will incur a variable mileage-based road user charge, whose proceeds are available for spending on transport. Making changes in travel behaviour - for example making a journey by bus or bicycle rather than by car - will allow the user to reduce or avoid the charge. The model will also allow users to opt for a reduced rate of charge and/or a compensating reduction in fuel duty, with a personalised benefit-cost ratio compared to other players.