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Traffic problems persist as snowfalls continue

Traffic problems persist as snowfalls continue

Published: 11 Feb 2011 13:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Feb 2011 13:27 GMT+01:00

Sweden's Transport Administration has advised drivers in Stockholm to leave their cars at home as the continuing heavy snowfalls and winds leave much of the region at a standstill.

As Stockholm and southern Norrland struggle to battle the aftermath of the return of winter, Sweden's meteorological agency SMHI warned that the snow was heading south to Småland, Blekinge and Skåne.

Bus services were at Friday lunchtime still suspended in the Swedish capital as snowplough crews battle the snow drifts. Train services across the affected areas are running at dramatically reduced capacity, if at all.

Many commuters have been left stranded.

"It is deplorable, they could have ploughed during the night, there is something called 'planning ahead'," said Dag Bengtsson at Stockholm Central Station to news agency TT.

The transport administration has issued a warning for an emergency traffic situation in southern Norrland and the Stockholm region.

"There is also limited accessibility on the smaller roads in Dalarna county, southern Jämtland and the Gävleborg coast", the administration said.

At least 25 traffic accidents have been reported to police in the Stockholm area since midnight, while no one has been seriously injured

The Transport Administration also warned of major disruptions to train services between Gävle and Sundsvall because of the blizzard.

"Trains are moving but the tracks have an extremely low capacity due to snow drifts. Things are moving, but very slowly, and delays will continue well into the morning," Transport Administration spokesperson Lennart Helsing told TT.

Several local trains between Gävle and Sundsvall were also cancelled, according to the administration's website.

Bus service in nearly all of Stockholm and the surrounding suburbs was cancelled on Friday morning due to treacherous road conditions, stranding many Stockholm area commuters or forcing them to find alternate routes. Commuter trains were running, but with heavy delays.

"We were trying to drive downtown for a while, but it just didn’t work," said Thomas Silvander, a spokesperson for public transit operator SL, to the TT news agency.

The weather also caused flight delays in the Stockholm region. At Arlanda airport, only one runway is operational as crews work to remove snow, resulting in delays of up to two hours.

At Bromma airport, travelers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes.

Swedish meteorological agency SMHI has issued a class 2 warning for the Baltic island of Gotland, Södermanland and Stockholm counties, as well as the coastlines of Uppland and Gävleborg counties.

The Eckerö Line ferry has cancelled all Friday morning departures from Eckerö and Grisslehamn due to the bad weather. But the 1.30pm departure from Eckerö is expected to go ahead as planned.

The Viking Line and Silja Line ferry operators report delays in their Baltic Sea ferry traffic, but all routes are expected to proceed as planned on Friday morning.

The snowstorm is expected to move steadily south during the day on Friday morning, weakening as it goes. By the afternoon, only light snow is expected over the Götaland region of central Sweden.

"We're not at all looking at the same amounts we had yesterday and overnight," SMHI meteorologist Alexandra Ohlsson told TT.

Despite the rough weather, relatively few accidents have been reported. Police in several counties hit by the heavy snow believe most travellers opted to stay off the roads.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:52 February 11, 2011 by UScitizen
Yeah, sure is rough out there. I shoveled snow for two hours here in Bromma. Not because I have to but because I want to, to be a good neighbor. That's what people from the Southern US do..... we help our neighbors, expecting nothing in return. I hope everyone who reads this, wherever they are, has a safe weekend.
10:11 February 11, 2011 by stenhuggaren
'expecting nothing in return'...except perhaps applause and adulation on a internet forum.
10:14 February 11, 2011 by Harlemite
I'm delighted to say that a very nice Swedish woman, a stranger, picked me (American ex-pat) and a Swedish gentleman up from our bus stop today, and gave us rides to work. I thought that was rather neighborly as well.

May God bless her for it.

Be careful out there folks.
10:40 February 11, 2011 by laughingoutloud
I am an American . I have not seen any ,American helping me. You see me speaking English, and you do not say even hello,

but it does not matter anymore I am getting out of here as soon as I can.
11:37 February 11, 2011 by UScitizen
@ laughingoutloud

Dude! You must be a yankee. This is a beautiful country with a lot of wonderful people, both immigrants and Swedes. Maybe you're hanging out in the wrong places. I always speak to others I hear speaking English even when I can tell by their accents that they aren't Americans.
11:39 February 11, 2011 by Åskar
So, you expect every other native English speaker to say hello to you when they happen to hear you speak English?
12:04 February 11, 2011 by Eagle63
What's this all aboot, he? Swedes AND Americans are generally very friendly, almost as nice as Canadians....!
12:20 February 11, 2011 by UScitizen
@Eagle63

Are you Canadian? So's my wife. Canada's a great country too!
12:53 February 11, 2011 by Eagle63
@ U Scitizen

Well, I'd say I'm 'Canadian @ Heart'; it's my favorite nation. Right now I still live in the Netherlands, but that's an extremely hectic and stressfull little country. I prefer to be in Sweden in the spring and be in Florida in the winter, together with the other 'Snowbirds'... ;-)

Btw, where do you live right now, in Sweden or in the US ?
13:23 February 11, 2011 by big5
You'd think Sweden had never experienced winter before. Every year the same...
13:38 February 11, 2011 by karex
Hmmm...

They're advising drivers to leave their cars at home. Shouldn't they just advise everyone to STAY at home? What's the use of leaving your car if the buses, trams and trains are mostly standing still? Unless you walk or bike to work. But with these winds, I wouldn't advise that...

Wish I could watch the Rallye live this year - with this storm it must make a very interesting race!
14:09 February 11, 2011 by hilt_m
haha I spent 30 minutes trying to dig my car out but only managed to get it out one car length, then I spent another 10 minutes trying to get it back into the same car space. In the end I ended up walking to the nearest shop. wow what a slog that was.
14:23 February 11, 2011 by UScitizen
@Eagle63

Sorry, I got off for awhile. I live in Bromma, just outside Stockholm and have been here two years. I go back to the states June/july each year.

@hilt_m

I helped a neighbor dig her car out this morning. I hope she got to work ok. I did a little walking befor that and gave up.
14:32 February 11, 2011 by dammen
I love this quote from an unhappy commuter

"It is deplorable, they could have ploughed during the night, there is something called 'planning ahead',"

Obviously a city dweller - expecting everything on demand

We live on a 3 km long gravel road - the snowplough was out at midnight - we still couldn't get out this morning - too much drifted snow - some people should engage brain before speaking - It is winter after all and this is to be expected if there is severe weather. Took an hour this morning to get to feed our horses 8m from the house - was easier getting the kids to school on their skies - 4km away
14:53 February 11, 2011 by Eagle63
@ UScitizen

That's nice, being able to travel..

We like to do that too (I've send you a message about it).

Sweden is a great country to travel, unless there's too much snow....
16:01 February 11, 2011 by ITkiwi
Took me 5 hours to get to work today and found myself stranded at different stations and on different trains (4 times). Given I´m still a learner in the art of swedish speaking I don't really understand the various announcements that are made (except of course that they mean more delays). So every time I would ask the pesron next to me and every time a very helpful swedish person would tell me in english exactly what was happening.

5 hours or not - I love Sweden!

Almost time to go home now and I hope this journey is quicker! (and if its not - I still love Sweden!)
16:36 February 11, 2011 by laughingoutloud
I have met nice Canandian out side the country. one inside I am glad you people have been lucker
22:13 February 11, 2011 by sebwojo
it wasnt easy but we have ended the i just want to thank sweden they a ever ready i saw every tool brought out to fight the snow
00:59 February 12, 2011 by EP
20cm of snow falls and Sweden, as a northern and winter country, can't handle it. Sheesh!
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