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Gothenburg congestion charges get green light

TT/Christine Demsteader · 29 Jan 2010, 07:12

Published: 29 Jan 2010 07:12 GMT+01:00

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The suggestion to introduced charges by 2013 would follow the Stockholm scheme. Charges would be payable for driving within city limits set by the council on week days between 6.30am and 6.29pm.

Tourists and locals will be given an annual respite in the plan, which proposes a temporary halt to charges during the month of July.

Owners of cars classified as 'green' or 'environmentally friendly' will not be excluded from the charges and also be expected to cough up cash for the privilege of driving in the city.

The council had two alternatives when choosing the zone affected by the charges and opted for a smaller area encircled by 40 pay stations, each with a 10 kronor fee. ($1.35)

“It will be like it is in Stockholm,” said Hans Linderstad, council planning manager. “The cars will pass a overhead portal where a camera will identify their number plates."

The proposal is part of a bigger infrastructure package for Gothenburg to the tune of around 30 billion kronor ($4 billion).

The government has pledged 15 billion kronor to invest in roadworks and public transport in the city.

Responding to comments in newspaper Göteborgs-Posten from over 1,000 displeased locals, Anneli Hultén said the decision had to be viewed from a long-term perspective.

“We didn’t really know whether it would become a reality,” she told to GP.

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"It provides us with money and means we are doing our bit for the environment and climate change. When the children of today are grown up there will hopefully be a good public transport system and solid infrastructure,” she added.

Congestions charges were first launched in Sweden in 2007 when Stockholm became the first city to introduce a scheme after a trial period.

TT/Christine Demsteader (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:49 January 29, 2010 by byke
I fully believe in environmental causes and looking to reduce carbon.

But this seems to be mis-sold under the false premise of green values.

From what I see this is purely being introduced at key locations to increase revenue for whatever reason. But from what I have read it would appear that the cash generated is for repairs and local authorities and by o means shows any green initiatives at looking to address the situation as which it is being sold as.
10:36 January 29, 2010 by sodafox
When they can reduce my public transport trip from an hour and half and provide service at the times I need then I'll consider it. The bus service that I would need to use doesn't even run at the times I need... and the fare.... it's actually the same price as it costs me to drive and saves me over 2 hours a day commuting.

It's a revenue raising exercise.... how else will they pay for that new bridge across the river.
10:42 January 29, 2010 by DAVID T
we've had it for some time in Stockholm - at first it worked and reduced the traffic volume but as with most things in Sweden the comuter just accepted it. I've no idea where all the cash goes - the snow clearing in Stockholm makes my blood boil. I was in Chicago wher they fill the Garbage waggons with snow and dump it in the lakes - in Stockholm they just move it to the side of the road. So the motorist who is paying this massive toll has a nightmare to park as well,
12:49 January 29, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
@David T "I've no idea where all the cash goes". It loses money hand over fist. Last reports I saw (2009) suggested that the operator's costs were (from memory) some 170% of revenue.

@DavidT "I was in Chicago wher they fill the Garbage waggons with snow and dump it in the lakes - in Stockholm they just move it to the side of the road." -they do the same here in Stockholm. It is done on rotation. They will shift it to the side of the road and then on the street cleaning day they truck it and dump it in the harbour.

@Sodafox. I just curious, why you live so far out from your place of work (quality of life, financial circumstances, etc) where there is no obvious means of public transportation?
15:05 January 29, 2010 by tigger007
most of the money gets lost in the system on wasted projects. for the city of gothenburg to say it's for the GREEN of the city is BS. they have seen how much money is generated in stockholm and was like wow that's the way to go. the city of gothenburg will increase parking fees by 30% this coming year. if they really wanna go GREEN make the city of gothenburg tranasportation system more user friendly(lowering fees) and making it more cost effective. gothenburg isn't that BIG to impose driving fees on drivers. the more money the city of gothenburg gets the more wasteful it becomes.
17:03 January 29, 2010 by sodafox
@EtoileBrilliant To answer your question.... quality of life. We do have public transport however it is roughly once and hour and doesn't start till 6am... I am at work already by then.
18:06 January 29, 2010 by texasgubbar
"When the children of today are grown up there will hopefully be a good public transport system and solid infrastructure"

Hopefully good? As an american living part time on G'borg I think the public transportation there is fantastic. However, they should move the shipyards and ferry docks further out and build more bridges/tunnels to cross the river.
19:17 January 29, 2010 by misssh
there is one word and only one word for this


"for the environment" is just a cover up for the government to gain more money from the tax payer!
10:09 January 30, 2010 by Tutu
O God dont let them introduce this toll gate. let any party that is promoting it loose heavily in the next election especailly Green party and whatsoever part that support it.
16:18 January 31, 2010 by Princess P
Congestion, in Gothenburg? They're having a laugh. I see more congestion in my home town at 6.00am on a Sunday morning.
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