• Sweden's news in English

Stockholm congestion fee 'too low': politicians

TT/The Local/gm · 10 Jun 2011, 13:29

Published: 10 Jun 2011 13:29 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to a recent study carried out by the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) on behalf of the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, it now takes 60 percent longer on average to get to the Swedish capital on the E4 motorway from the south of the city than it did in 2006.

In response to the worsening situation, several leading politicians have called for a hike in the cost of the congestion charge, with some arguing that it should cost twice what it does today.

The fees paid by motorists vary depending on the time of day they drive into the city, ranging from 10 to 20 kronor ($1.60 to $3.20) per trip into the city.

Charges to a single car are capped at 60 kronor per day, and no fee is charged during nights, weekends, public holidays, or the month of July.

Meanwhile a network of politicians past and present, that was set up five years ago to push the case for the introduction of the charge, has been resurrected and is now campaigning for higher charges.

"It has become clear that the level of the fee is too low. There is plenty of room for an increase. It is difficult to put an exact amount on it, but at certain times it could certainly be doubled," said Per Ankersjö, chairman of the network, to DN.

The issue of congestion and the current situation was brought up in the Riksdag yesterday.

Social Democrat economic policy spokesperson Tommy Waidelich believes more resources should be diverted to the underground system.

"The roads are badly congested and we need to find an alternative. The metro is the most effective way to relieve the problem - I would like the government to contribute towards more investment in it,” he said.

Meanwhile others believe a new policy could be extended to include more of the city.

Story continues below…

The Green Party would like to see a congestion charge introduced for Essingeleden, a major artery into and around the capital.

"There would not be any queues if this happened. I believe that all parties realise that it is necessary," Green Party MP Per Bolund told DN.

After an initial trial period in 2006, the congestion charge was officially introduced in Stockholm on August 1st, 2007.

A similar system is set to be introduced in Gothenburg in western Sweden in 2013 in an effort to reduce congestion and lower emissions.

TT/The Local/gm (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:39 June 10, 2011 by RationalG.
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:59 June 10, 2011 by Axemen.se
You pay based on the income you earn?
16:28 June 10, 2011 by Rey Stockholm
It is a tax based on the fact hat people have no option but to pay it - thats why it is not levied at the weekends as people have a choice not to go to town.

Only fools think it is anything to do with congestion
17:17 June 10, 2011 by swedeb
How about more than one way into the city per direction or make the 2 lane roads a little bigger. With a growing population, of course the streets are going to get more congested. But the problem is that there is one way in and out per direction and that is just too small.
02:33 June 11, 2011 by Larry Thrash
There is no CEO, banker, business person, rock star, actor, as greedy as a politicians extorting money from the citizens.
12:50 June 11, 2011 by Hamish
all i can say is ........ they are money grabbing muppets !
14:09 June 11, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Copenhagen knows how to manage traffic and encourage alternative transportation. Stockholm needs to look to Copenhagen and start taking notes.
20:29 June 11, 2011 by old git
where do you live marc the texan? copenhagen does have a lot of bikes , but there are no hills which make it easier. i think the cost of just owning a car is also much higher than in sweden. and when the congestion charge in stockholm is just 10 sek there is no congestion cause its off peak...
02:28 June 12, 2011 by Larry Thrash
This Texan (San Antonio) likes driving his car when he is in Stockholm.
16:21 June 12, 2011 by expatjourno
Of course it takes longer than it did in 2006. That's because there has been constant road work for the past three years. Idiots.
17:15 June 12, 2011 by planet.sweden

The congestion charge definitely needs upping but more importantly its high time there was a complete ban on owning and driving SUVs throughout all the major cities of the EU, not just Sweden's.

BMW X5s, Porsche Cayennes, Range Rovers, Humvees, and Chevys etc simply do not belong in the narrow congested streets of Europe's ancient cities. They pollute disprortionately, are dangerous to cyclists, pedestrians and other road users, hog to much space and encourage a type aggression in their drivers which only psychologists are qualified to understand.

They appeal to a particularly loathsome and selfish kind of individual, an unseemly collection of meat headed mafiosos, Östermalm trophy wives, and boarish middle aged Swedish men, all of whom have one thing in common, their complete and utter disregard for the well being of the planet and of other road users.

Saving the planet isn't an opt in opt out choice, it's a global imperative, and our governments should now be banning such wholly unnecesarry and dangerous fashion accessories as the SUV.
18:13 June 12, 2011 by aaww
residents have the rights to take their car into wherever they like including downtown stockholm, nothing is wrong with that !!!

if there is a congestion in town, it would only mean that the infrastructure is far too behind, they should look into construction of more roads and stop complaining about people and rising tax
20:30 June 12, 2011 by kenny8076
Ya i am completely baffled yet again in Sweden that the first solution to every problem is raise taxes or raise prices. This country is encouraging a baby-boom, bringing in more immigrants a year than they can handle, yet are baffled that the streets are becoming too full, so solution....... lets charge more!! They not only provide no alternative, because the train system here is a complete joke and extremely expensive but they single out the lower or middle class that now would have to budget in yet ANOTHER increase in a monthly expense.

The Swedes are obsessed with NYC, but i couldn't IMAGINE how they would run one.
22:31 June 12, 2011 by Exiled
If they would stop charging to get OUT of the city people would not be trapped inside with their cars.
23:42 June 12, 2011 by old git
the Green party haven't a clue. make essingeleden a toll road and the north south through traffic will probably go back to going through town. then the taxis they use to get to Riksdag will be even more delayed...
08:53 June 13, 2011 by engagebrain
Cities are for people not cars.

Cars require roads and parking areas, amounting to 20% of a western city.

Pushing up the toll would be an attempt to match the number of vehicles with the capacity of the roads - cars moving slowly is the worst result, greater pollution and of little benefit to the occupants.

Perhaps the toll could be progressive - so many entries at 10sek. some at 20sek etc, to allow for occasional users but to push high users to use public transprot.
10:05 June 13, 2011 by Rick Methven
It needs to be 100kr in order for car addicts to see that the cost of the congestion charge plus parking is more than public transport. with rebates for commercial vehicles ( tradesmen/ delivery) that need to get into the city.
10:21 June 13, 2011 by Luke R D
ANYONE that suggest putting a further toll on anything needs to be examined. This has nothing to do with congestion, just another way to squeeze more money out of people by the parasitic politicians.

Perhaps, instead of selling off the public transport, Sweden should have kept their infrastructure as their own and made the cost competitive with driving your car...that is if that's what they really want. Big question mark there.
11:04 June 13, 2011 by helveeta
My first trip to Stockholm I was surprised at the oversized vehicles I saw there. I even saw a Ford F150 which simply a vehicle that only belongs on a ranch somewhere. It seems stressful enough driving there much less in something like that. They should definitely limit larger vehicles only if necessary such as transporting goods or garbage collection.
12:00 June 13, 2011 by farnoxo
@planet.sweden - totally support the ban on big SUV's - you could also call it the "ban on drivers with small knobs trying to compensate by driving big SUVs".
12:11 June 13, 2011 by Mpf
Quote: "it now takes 60 percent longer on average to get to the Swedish capital on the E4 motorway from the south of the city than it did in 2006."

I think you will find the congestion charge is the reason why the E4 motorway is so congested. Before if travelling North to South or South to North you could do so by cutting across the city. Due to the introduction of the congestion charge this option is no longer an option unless you are willing to pay the price. Therefore, more cars stay on the E4 or E18 motorway and you have - oh congestion on the motorways - ta da.

Raising the congestion charge will only force more drivers to stay on the motorways and - ta da more congestion. Some half wit in a couple of years time will say something stupid like "It now takes 60% more time to to get to Stockholm from the south than it did a couple of years ago.
11:40 June 14, 2011 by EtoileBrilliant
"residents have the rights to take their car into wherever they like including downtown stockholm, nothing is wrong with that !!!"


Wrong!!! No one has a right to take their car wherever they like. People have the right to exercise their lifestyle choice. And if people want to live in the burbs and choose a place with little or no public transport, then they can't expect much sympathy from people living in the city.

Stockholm has excellent public transport and there is no excuse for people jumping in a car every day to commute. Do what NYC does and keep parking spaces for local residents (boende) only or make company car parking spaces a taxable benefit.
12:24 June 14, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Hey old git, I've seen you round here quite a bit! Currently, I'm in Florida, but when I'm in Sweden it's Malmoe. So I get over to Copenhagen often. I like the way they do things and seem to lead in areas, like city planning. You make good points about Copenhagen vs. Stockholm and I would agree with you. So I think Stockholm's solution to the problem would be different, but Copenhagen has demonstrated political will, long term vision, planning and most importantly, execution of those plans.
Today's headlines
Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected study programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available