Less Car Congestion, Less Asthma in Children

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Nala Rogers writing in In Science notes that Stockholm Sweden was one of the cities that instituted “congestion pricing” by scanning license plates as cars enter the “congestion pricing zone”. Each trip costs around $ 3.40 in Canadian dollars. First trialed in 2006, the pricing became permanent in 2007.

Stockholm’s road pricing scheme not only made streets less vehicular and enabled cars to commute more easily, asthma attacks in children were significantly reduced by approximately 45 per cent.

Researchers compared health and environmental data from Stockholm with over 100 other cities that did not have congestion fees. The researchers tracked the pollutant levels and also tracked the number of children sent to hospital from asthma attacks. Had Stockholm not introduced congestion fees,  “it would have continued to experience the same worsening asthma and pollution levels as other Swedish cities. This assumption allowed the team to project what would have…

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