Stockholm congestion charge back in August

Congestion charges are to be reintroduced in Stockholm on August 1st, just over a year since a trial scheme ended in the city. The government has submitted a bill to parliament to reinstate road tolls, with the income to be spent on improving the capital's road network.

In a statement released on Thursday, the government said that the rules would be similar to those that applied during the six-month trial period last year. This time, however, taxis will not being exempt and the penalty for non payment will fall from 500 kronor to 200 kronor ($29).

Buses and vehicles used by the disabled will retain their exemption.

Residents of Lidingö, an island next to Stockholm which can only be accessed by driving through the congestion zone, will be exempted from the charge if they pass through the zone in under half an hour.

The government said that the transponders used during the trial to allow people to pay by direct debit may not be used in the new scheme, although they may be needed to manage the exemption for Lidingö residents. Otherwise, it will be possible to pay by direct debit without the transponders. It will also be possible to pay in Pressbyrån and 7-Eleven stores and via banks.

Drivers will have 14 days to pay, and will not receive a reminder.

The size of the charge, which is legally a tax, will vary depending on the time of day. Peak hours are most expensive, costing 20 kronor every time a car passes a pay station. The cheapest times are 6:30-6:59am and 6:00-6:29pm. Evenings, nights and weekends will be free, as will the whole of July.

Private individuals and companies will be allowed to make tax deductions for the charge. Most hybrids, electrical cars and cars that can run on ethanol or other biofuels will be exempt.