A smoothly operating transport system is essential to sustainable economic development. The article sets out to draw attention to the economy-related problems of the increasingly intense motorization and traffic congestion in Budapest. The physical constraints on the road system mean that the future travel requirements of the inhabitants can only be met by public transport, which is more efficient than private cars. Unless the spread of motorization can be halted, there will be mounting burdens on Budapest in congestion costs, time losses, fuel costs and environmental pollution. International experience shows that negative incentives are essential to easing congestion. Among of the most effective traffic-restricting measures, taken in several big cities abroad, has been to introduce a road charge in the city centre. The examples of London and Stockholm show city-dwellers support transport measures in the public interest, even if they place constraints on car use.
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