• Sweden's news in English

Stockholm traffic 'worst in Scandinavia': report

TT/The Local/pvs · 7 Dec 2011, 09:10

Published: 07 Dec 2011 09:10 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Navigation manufacturer TomTom's statistics covering 16 Nordic cities shows that almost one third of Stockholm's streets are completely clogged up during rush hour, according to the Swedish Svenska Dagbladet daily.

Oslo is the second worst with 28 percent of its streets afflicted by queues. The figures for Helsinki and Copenhagen are 19 percent and 14 percent respectively.

For Gothenburg the figure is 11 percent and for Malmö six.

Daniel Firth, a traffic planner at Stockholm City council, warned that chaos will result if fast-expanding Stockholm is not able to free up space on the streets.

"We have carried out a number of analyses over what would happen if we don't do anything. Then it would be real chaos," he told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

The city is developing a "framkomlighetsstrategi" (literally: accessibility strategy) to address the problem, to be led by Firth.

The strategy will involve greater priority placed on public transport, cycling and pedestrians and in particular target the parked cars which habitually line the city's streets.

The charge for residents parking will be hiked from 700 ($100) to 800 kronor/month after the new year as part of the strategy and to push car owners to pay for garage space.

Story continues below…

City councillor Ulla Hamilton explained that in the future the city hopes that private cars will be used only when absolutely necessary.

"Useful and necessary car traffic has to be able to get through. Therefore, more Stockholmers need to use card less and walk, cycle or use public transport instead. There is no other way out if Stockholm is to be a functioning city," Hamilton told DN.

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:39 December 7, 2011 by Stonebridge
"Stockholm drivers spend longer in traffic jams than their counterparts in other Scandinavian city-dwellers..."

This doesn't make any sense! I think it's the victim of poor editing.
09:45 December 7, 2011 by spo10
Don't you think it's time to widen the roads and create more parking spaces for everyone? The problem in huge cities such as Stockholm is that they don't have enough parking space for everyone. Heck, they don't even have enough apartments for the students and residents alike! And I bet 700-800 sek parking fee/month wouldn't be a big deal to them.
10:01 December 7, 2011 by riose
@spo10 Huge? Sthlm?

How do you widen the road in the inner city without removing sidewalks? Narrowing buildings?

Here is another solution: If you go to the center, take the bus.
10:04 December 7, 2011 by engagebrain

cities are for people not for cars.

roads take up huge amounts of space and make it harder for everyone not actually in a car to move around - even drivers need to get out sometime.

Expand public transport.
10:15 December 7, 2011 by eppie

Yeah of course, creating more parking spaces helps against congestion!

Anyway, people going by car in STockholm apparantly have enought time to spare to do this, lets just leave them. Further please remove some parkling places and put bikelanes instead. I am sick and tired of all the useless people blocking me with their cars. If they want to spend 45 minutes on a stretch that you can do in 15 on a bike that is fine, but stop bothering the rest of us with it. Some people actually have things to do.
11:55 December 7, 2011 by Steggles
Does anyone ever make it to work?
12:20 December 7, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I think the lack of parking is a big problem in every major European city.

The times I've driven to Stockholm I've thought that the exit/entry roads off/to the E4 are a cause of 'bottlenecks' as they don't seem to have been designed with current traffic levels in mind.

Congestion is here to stay - I don't think constant road widening schemes are going to be environmentally popular
12:46 December 7, 2011 by Beavis
What a shock! The city with the biggest population has the most amount of traffic! Its also the biggest city in tearms of areas and aount of roads. Im sure if some plonker did a poll that Stockholm would also have more buses, trains and trams provided than any other Nordic city(not Scandinavian if you include Helsinki!)
14:38 December 7, 2011 by spo10
I stand corrected.

But this problem has existed for years and they're still analyzing it? If the government knows the solution then they should implement it right away.
14:58 December 7, 2011 by Svensksmith
Here's a solution to the traffic congestion and unemployment: rickshaws.
15:56 December 7, 2011 by PaulTheOctopus
if there's an accident on E4 during the rush hour than you'll be stuck like for 2hrs..
16:10 December 7, 2011 by pjtaipale
Funny. Here in Finland, Stockholm is used as an example where the "congestion charge" has supposedly eliminated any and all traffic congestion problems in the city. This is why we should have a "congestion charge" in Finland as well.

The "congestion charge" plan of course being a system based on GPS and GSM, tracking the movements of every car, and invoicing per kilometer for any movement (whether there is congestion or not, even in the remote corners of Lapland).

All this on the pretext of reducing "congestion" and "carbon footprint". In reality, the point is to extract some tax money also from electric cars that do not use gasoline or diesel fuel.
16:12 December 7, 2011 by Abe L
The problem is that there is not sufficient road diversity. A single accident will basically interrupt all traffic from the North of Stockholm to the South, usually in both directions. It doesn't help that the police doesn't prioritize getting traffic flowing again over filling out insurance forms, so millions become the victim of often only two incapable drivers.

Aside from that, Stockholm is simply years behind with building new asphalt, more diverse roads and proper free parking on the edge of town. To many people in Sweden have no other option to get to work then by car, it would be great if you could drive to the edge of town and complete the last few miles by subway.

Otherwise, it would help a great deal if they would start banning industrial traffic such as trucks, tour busses and other large slowly moving traffic from rush hour. It's a common used concept and that kind of traffic does not belong on the only highway in a capital city between 07:00-10:00 and 15:00-19:00.
17:18 December 7, 2011 by engagebrain
most people who work in Stockholm travel by public transport, which works and can have its capacity increased relatively easily. The smaller fraction who drive basically want to concrete over the city so they can drive to work.

so a driver who lives in A and works in B wants the drive through C and D every day. This degrades B, C and D and lowers living standards for the majority.

Live near where you work or take public transport.
19:17 December 7, 2011 by Steggles
I wonder how the public transport survives as many of the buses I see daily are practically empty!
20:37 December 7, 2011 by waffen
Stop all traffic in all cities except that which is essential for commerce, and only that in a very controlled manner.

Areas can be set-up outside of the city whereby inexpensive shuttle-buses can run routes that drop off passengers nearby their places of work, and shopping and recreational venues. Still, there should be no traffic whatsover on certain mid-city streets.

Many cities throughout Europe and in the United States have adopted this strategy, and they have immediately created a pleasant downtown atmosphere and experience, free of noise and fumes, where outdoor cafes abound.

Where there is the will, there is a way.
20:57 December 7, 2011 by Opinionfool
Try London, there the average speed hasn't changed since the late 19th century. There may now be horse-less carriages but they don't move any quicker than the horse-drawn ones did. And not only during the rush-hour, which lasts for several hours both morning and evening, but throughout the day. Stockholmers have nothing to complain about in comparison.
21:17 December 7, 2011 by wxman
Stockholm is a large city. It has traffic. Where's the story?
04:28 December 8, 2011 by ChrisPDX
I have never needed a car in Sweden or Denmark or Stockholm. Although I am a city guy that thinks not having a car is real freedom.

I am stuck back in the USA and stuck using a car. I hate it!

Stockholm has a wonderful transport system.

Let 'em sit in traffic.

I never gave this a thought before.

04:31 December 8, 2011 by godnatt
Took an hour and a half for me to go 15 kilometers through the city today starting at 3:30pm.

It's ridiculous. Worse than any city I've seen in America including LA.

+1 vote for rickshaws. It'll definitely be faster.
13:07 December 8, 2011 by tadetlungt
Sky Cab System could be a solution as they never jam.
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