The Swedish city of Gothenburg launched a new inner-city toll scheme for motorists on 1st January. City officials say that programme – which charges all motorists a fee for journeys to and from the inner city – is designed to cut carbon emissions, reduce traffic congestion and provide funding for the growing city’s forthcoming infrastructure projects.
Forty new toll stations opened for business on the morning of the New Year. Those travelling through the city centre must now pay SEK 8-18 (EUR 0.93-2.10) for each trip between 06:00 and 18:29, with the higher levies charged during peak hours. The fee is waived at other times, as well as at weekends, and throughout the entire month of July. Moreover, daily charges for each motorist are capped at SEK 60 (EUR 7), whilst those that do not pay face a SEK 500 (EUR 58) fine.
The launch comes five years after Stockholm implemented a similar programme, which has cut traffic in the capital by up to 18 percent, according to a spokesperson from the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen).
Gothenburg city officials approved the scheme in 2010, although it has since seen substantial opposition. Some 45,000 of the city’s half-million residents have now signed a petition demanding the matter be put to a public vote.