Congestion charge ‘has not harmed traders’

Warnings that Stockholm's congestion charge would harm trade for the city's shops appear to have been proven wrong, according to figures from the Swedish Institute of Trade released on Tuesday.

Preliminary figures show that sales in central Stockholm shops increased inn January compared with the same month in 2005.

“Trade in the city has increased. In many areas it is up 4-5 percent,” said Ulf Rämme, who led the study, to Svenska Dagbladet.

One area to show significant increases in grocery sales is the Skanstull district of Södermalm. This could be down to the “lock-in effect”, according to Rämme. Residents of the area are now less inclined to go to out-of-town centres on weekdays, when it is likely to cost money. They choose instead to make their purchases closer to home.

The study compared turnover in large shopping centres, 900 individual shops and a number of large shopping districts such as Drottninggatan and Hamngatan.

TT/The Local