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Urgent spending needed on bus crash road

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15:13 CET+01:00
The Swedish National Road Administration (SNRA) is demanding 3.9 billion kronor extra from the government next year to improve the state of road 288, the scene of Tuesday's fatal bus crash.

The road needs widening and crash barriers need installing in the middle of the highway, the government agency says. Six people died in when two buses crashed on the road on Tuesday morning.

There are 1,150 kilometres of road of the same standard as the one on which the accident happened and on which upgrades are needed, according to the SNRA.

The agency says that roads that are less than nine metres wide, carry more than 4,000 vehicles a day and which have speed limits of 90 km/h should have central crash barriers.

But it will be some time before the SNRA can install crash barriers, as the road first needs to be widened. Up to now, roads that are 13 metres wide have been prioritised for separation, as it is significantly cheaper.

Delays in upgrading roads are due to cash shortages.

"Increased traffic volumes have worn down the roads, oil and steel prices are up, increasing our costs, yet our budget is the same," said Gunnar Tunkrans, head of road maintenance for the SNRA.

The SNRA said on Wednesday that it had added 3.9 billion kronor to its budget requirement, taking the total it will ask for from the government next year to 22.6 billion.

The drivers of both buses involved in Tuesday's accident were questioned by police on Wednesday. Neither of them are suspected of any crime, said Uppsala police's Christer Nordström, who would not reveal what the drivers have told investigators.

Accident investigators plan to interview witnesses and the buses computers before making any statements on the possible cause of the accident.

Six people are still being treated at the Uppsala University Hospital. The patients are all described as being in a stable condition. The two passengers who were airlifted to hospital in Stockholm on Tuesday have both been allowed home.

A crisis centre established in a church hall near the crash site was open again on Wednesday.

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