The right investments in transport infrastructure build a strong and sustainable Sweden for the future
The Government has adopted the infrastructure bill ‘Infrastructure for the future – innovative solutions for strengthened competitiveness and sustainable development’. The bill contains the direction and financial frameworks for investments in transport infrastructure for the planning period 2018–2029. The proposals in the bill will enable us to achieve the goals of a transition to a fossil-free welfare state, a Sweden that stands together, an increase in housing construction and improved conditions for business.
"The increased resources we are now proposing in the infrastructure bill enable an improvement of the standard of the existing railway system. Delays and disturbances that arise in rail traffic are now being countered with significantly strengthened railway maintenance and re-investments in major parts of the railway network," says Minister for Infrastructure Anna Johansson.
"New ideas are needed with regard to the technology and infrastructure that can contribute to a more sustainable transport system. Increased use of new technologies, for example digitisation and automation, can contribute to the more intelligent use of existing infrastructure and decrease the burden on the transport system. This therefore requires innovative solutions that open new possibilities," says Ms Johansson.
The transport policy objectives are the starting point of the bill and will ensure an economically efficient, sustainable transport system for citizens and businesses throughout the country. All policy areas must contribute to tackling the major challenges. The transport system is a basic condition for access to jobs and housing throughout the country. The competitiveness of trade and industry builds on reliable means of transport, within Sweden and through links with the rest of the world. Furthermore, the environmental impacts and emissions of the transport sector must decrease significantly if Sweden is to meet its environmental and climate objectives and live up to the international commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Good growth and stable public finances are fundamental to the proposals and there is scope for the proposed financial frameworks within current and future levels of taxation. The financial framework is proposed to amount to SEK 622.5 billion, which is just over SEK 100 billion more than the current plan.
The Government is focusing on maintenance in order to maintain the functionality of roads and railways. Increased resources enable an improvement of standards in the existing railway system. The Government's ambition is that a larger proportion of long-distance goods transports should be transported via railway and shipping than is the case today. The road network must cope with an even greater volume of traffic, primarily in the cities, and funds for road operation and maintenance are therefore proposed to increase. Continued investment in bearing capacity and frost protection are also important and make it possible to maintain full bearing capacity year round on roads that are considered important for the business sector.
New main lines for high-speed trains connect Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, which relieves current systems and therefore contributes to higher reliability in the railway system as a whole. However, the new main lines project extends over several electoral periods and will affect the central government budget for a long time. It is therefore crucial that there is broad support in the Riksdag ahead of decisions on whether Sweden should invest in new main lines.
Facts: Infrastructure planning
The current intermodal national plan for the development of the transport system applies for the period 2014–2025. The Government has gathered data on the direction and financial frameworks from the Swedish Transport Administration. The Government considers that the planning period should continue to be 12 years and has now presented a bill containing proposals on financial frameworks and the direction for the next planning period, 2018–2029. Following a decision by the Riksdag, work on action planning will continue, which involves identifying the actions that should be prioritised in the plan.