Press release: STRING’s consultation response to the proposed plan for the national plan for transport infrastructure

The STRING Megaregion has submitted its consultation response on the national transport infrastructure plan for Sweden 2022-2033. It is with great seriousness that the regions address the need for the Swedish government to understand and act for developing cross-border infrastructure with our nearest neighbours.

With more than a third of Sweden’s population living in the area, a developed infrastructure is required. The stretch from Copenhagen to Oslo on Swedish territory connects two of the Nordic capitals and in between Sweden’s industrial hub Gothenburg is located. The corridor between Hamburg-Oslo has been studied by the OECD as the world’s first Megaregion of four nations. The study highlights the area’s potential when it comes to creating development and sustainable growth, but a strong integration demands an efficient transport infrastructure. People and goods must be able to flow seamlessly in the region, regardless of country or sub-region.

The response to the consultation highlight the need for a strengthened railway between Gothenburg-Oslo. Today, we have a situation with 60% single tracks and unreasonable transport times, which means that the majority of transport takes place via diesel trucks between Gothenburg – Oslo. A development that is not in an accordance with our climate goals.

For Norway, Sweden is one of our most important trade partners. We will encourage the Swedish government to strengthen the railway between Gothenburg and Oslo. With an efficient railway we can move freight traffic from road to train, reach our green goals and create an integrated region, says Siv Henriette Jacobsen (AP), Chair of the County Cabinet of Viken.

Furthermore, the need for increased transport between Denmark and Sweden will become more and more urgent, not least due to the opening of the Fehmarn Belt tunnel. This means that new fixed links in the Öresund region need to be investigated.

STRING welcomes the Swedish Transport Administration’s proposal for an upgrade to 250 km / h on the route Lund – Gothenburg – Öxnered. It provides the opportunity for shorter travel times between the growth areas in the route, but it is important to coordinate and preferably precede this investment by removing the remaining bottlenecks on the West Coast Line.

Cross-border cooperation is a key factor in creating a sustainable, coherent and efficient transport system. Developing the infrastructure between Oslo and Hamburg creates prerequisites for Sweden. With expanded labour market regions, increased business establishments and investments. Investments in infrastructure need to keep pace with the strong development that exists in the route.

The Fehmarn Belt tunnel will create significant geographical proximity to Sweden. We need to work even more integrated between the countries to take advantage of the opportunities and be prepared for the challenges that come with the tunnel, i.e. increased transport flows, says  Almut Möller (SPD), State Secretary and Plenipotentiary to the Federation, the European Union and for Foregin Affairs, The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

In the Swedish Transport Administration’s proposal for a national plan for the transport infrastructure, we welcome the visibility of the route between Oslo and Copenhagen, but lack the important concrete resources for action, says Thomas Becker, CEO of STRING

Read the full consultation response via this link:
STRING Remissyttrande på förslag till Nationell plan för transportin-frastrukturen 2022-2033