Compromise suggested over congestion charge

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 26 Sep, 2006 Updated Tue 26 Sep 2006 10:06 CEST

Three newly elected Centre Party MPs have said that they will vote in favour of congestion charges in Stockholm. Their arguments are bolstered by senior Moderate Party MP Lennart Hedquist, who has suggested a compromise that would see some of the funds brought in by the charges used to improve roads in the surrounding municipalities.


The Centre Party is the only party in the new four-party government that is officially in favour of the congestion charges, which were tested in a trial period running from January 3rd until July 31st.

"Now that the streets of the city and the roads leading in to the city have begun to clog up again since the congestion charge was removed, it is very clear that this is an effective tool and it would be foolish not to use it", write the three Centre Party MPs in today's Dagens Nyheter.

Stockholmers voted in favour of congestion charging in a referendum held on September 17th but inhabitants of the surrounding municipalities proved less enthusiastic and voted against the tax. The new government is faced with the prospect of disappointing either inhabitants of Stockholm municipality or those who commute in from outlying areas.

Lennart Hedquist suggests that it may be possible to reach a compromise. "I am not in favour of the tax as it is now. But the compromise could be that the tax will be used for infrastructural development in the areas around Stockholm", he told The Local.

Paul O'Mahony


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