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This Stockholm street just became the first in Sweden to ban old diesel cars

From today onwards, some cars will no longer be allowed to use one of southern Stockholm's main thoroughfares.

This Stockholm street just became the first in Sweden to ban old diesel cars
Old diesel cars are no longer allowed on Hornsgatan. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Hornsgatan runs from north to west on Stockholm's Södermalm island. It is a busy street lined with shops, bars and restaurants, and one of the quickest ways for drivers to get from Slussen to Liljeholmen.

It is also one of the Swedish capital's most polluted streets, and other measures such as banning studded winter tyres have previously been adopted in order to improve its air quality.

And on January 15th, a ban on old diesel cars comes into force on the street.

It follows a decision by the Swedish government in 2018 to make it possible for local authorities to create so-called environmental zones, and was a key question in the local election in Stockholm the same year.

The scheme was eventually pushed through by the Green Party, who have been ruling in coalition with centre-right parties in Stockholm City Council since the election, with opponents claiming a diesel ban was unnecessary due to the continuing improvement of air quality in the Swedish capital.

The ban means that only newer diesel engines meeting the emission standards of Euro 5 and Euro 6 will be permitted in the zone, and by 2022 only Euro 6 will be allowed. In practice, this bans most cars older than 11 years, but note that the older cars will still be allowed to cross Hornsgatan.

There are already class-one environmental zones for heavy vehicles in place in several Swedish cities (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Mölndal, Uppsala, Helsingborg, Lund and Umeå). But Hornsgatan is the first street in Sweden to introduce a class-two environmental zone for passenger cars.

According to Swedish public broadcaster SVT, around 4,000 of the 24,000 cars that use Hornsgatan every day will now be forced to take a detour. Emergency vehicles are however not affected by the ban.

Alternative routes from Slussen to Liljeholmen or to the E4/E20 motorway through the city are the Söder Mälarstrand street and then Västerbron, alternatively Götgatan or Söderledstunneln south, joining the 75 westbound through Årsta before reaching Liljeholmen or the motorway. In any case, unless you have no other option, public transport is usually more convenient than driving in central Stockholm.

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DRIVING

Everything you need to know about Sweden’s fuel bonus

Sweden's fuel bonus, referred to by the government as a "fuel compensation", will be paid out to all car owners in Sweden. But how will it work, and how much money can car owners get?

Everything you need to know about Sweden's fuel bonus

What is the fuel bonus?

The new fuel bonus is designed to compensate drivers for the rising prices of fuel in Sweden caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It will be complemented by a number of other measures such as temporarily lowered taxes on fuel between June and October 2022 and a pause in renewable energy requirements for fossil fuels for 2023.

Who is eligible, and how much money will be available?

As a rule, those registered as owning or leasing a car in Sweden will receive 1000 kronor. This will only be awarded once per person, so if you have more than one car, you will still only get 1000 kronor.

Residents of some areas which the government has identified as particularly reliant on car transport will be awarded an additional 500 kronor on top of the 1000 kronor bonus. The full list of these areas is available here.

How do I get the bonus?

The details of the bonus have not yet been confirmed, but the government have said that they expect it will be paid out automatically.

When will it be available?

Again, there are no clear details on when exactly the bonus will be in car owners’ bank accounts, but the government is aiming for payments to go out in August.

Will I still get the bonus if I lease a car or have an electric car?

Yes. The bonus will be paid out to anyone owning or leasing a car in Sweden, regardless of how the car is powered.

If you have a company car registered in your name, you will receive the bonus. If the car is registered under the company’s name, you won’t be able to receive the fuel bonus.

Listen to a discussion on Sweden’s rising cost of living on Sweden in Focus, The Local’s podcast. 

Click HERE to listen to Sweden in Focus on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

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