Court gives congestion charge go-ahead

The controversial proposal for road tolls in Stockholm looks likely to go ahead, after a court in Sundsvall ruled that the contract for providing the charging technology had been properly awarded.

The administrative court of appeal in Sundsvall disagreed with the country administrative court, which ruled last month that the tendering process for the congestion charge needed to be carried out again. The case was brought by Combitech, which had been turned down for the contract by the Swedish National Roads Administration (SNRA).

Explaining the latest ruling, the appeal court judges said that SNRA had been within its rights to turn down Combitech, as the company’s bid had not met the requirements that SNRA had laid out.

The court also denied Combitech leave to appeal to the European Court, although the company is free to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.

The company’s lawyer, Jonas Ågren, told TT that it was “most likely” that the Combitech would appeal. The Supreme Administrative Court only agrees to hear exceptional cases, but Ågren told TT “this case involves a number of important principles.”

It could be months before the case is heard. Preparations for the congestion charge were put on hold after the initial judgement was passed down, and the enormous job of getting ready for a trial of the system will only be resumed when the legal challenge is dropped or defeated.

The charge was to have been introduced this August, although the legal wrangles mean that this deadline has now been dropped.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Radio