The trial, which will cost some 3.8 billion kronor, lasts from January 3rd until July 31st. There will then be an intense campaigning period until September 17th when Stockholmers will vote in a referendum on whether or not to keep the charge.
But in a survey commissioned by the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and carried out by Sifo, 69% of those questioned said they were against the charge. 23% were in favour of a permanent congestion charge and 8% were not sure.
That represents an increase in sceptics of 10% since the last study by the paper in May 2003.
“It’s a somewhat smaller number in favour than we had in our research,” said Gunnar Söderholm, head of the environmental charge office in Stockholm, which is responsible for planning and evaluating the trial.
But he said that it was not surprising that opposition to the charge was greatest now, just before its introduction.
“We still haven’t seen the advantages – only the practical issues of the trial. We expected the number of negatives to increase. It was like that in London too, before the charge was introduced there,” he said.
1,031 people in the Stockholm district were interviewed for the poll.