Road - week 46

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Vehicle kilometres in the national road network

The Swedish Transport Administration reports weekly on the traffic development (vehicle kilometres) in the national road network, with figures on total traffic and heavy traffic (heavy goods vehicles, HGVs, and buses). During calendar week 46 this year compared to last year, total road traffic in the national road network decreased by 12 percent (a statistically significant decrease). This is the fourth week in a row with a statistically significant reduction in the total traffic flow on the national road network. Heavy traffic has increased for several weeks in a row and for the latest week the observed increase was 5 percent (a statistically significant increase).

Figure 1. Traffic (vehicle kilometres) in the national road network, total traffic and heavy traffic (heavy goods vehicles and buses). Percentage change during a week in 2020 compared to the same week in 2019.
Source: The Swedish Transport Administration

Road traffic in central Stockholm and Gothenburg: number of passing vehicles at congestion tax stations

To get in and out of central Stockholm and Gothenburg by passenger car, truck or bus, vehicle owners pay a congestion tax per passing vehicle. There are exceptions at certain hours and for some vehicles (see further Sources and definitions).

Throughout the year 2019, 90 million vehicles went in and out of central Stockholm and 137 million vehicles in and out of central Gothenburg, in the sense that they passed a congestion tax station during taxable times. The number of passing vehicles in Stockholm and Gothenburg has a similar distribution between the vehicle types. The largest difference between the cities is that Stockholm has a slightly larger share of passing LGVs and Gothenburg a slightly larger share of HGVs (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Number of passing vehicles at congestion tax stations in 2019 (all passing vehicles at taxed hours, including vehicles exempted from tax). Share for each type of vehicle for Stockholm (inner circle) and Gothenburg (outer circle).
Source: The Swedish Transport Agency

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the difference in traffic compared to last year has been at the largest - 11 percent in both Stockholm and Gothenburg and this was in April. Since then, the number of passages has increased continuously. During September this year, the total number of congestion tax passages was at the same level as last year (difference 0 percent) in both Stockholm and Gothenburg.

The HGVs were in September 2020 above last year's level in Gothenburg (+3 percent) but below in Stockholm (-4 percent). LGVs were slightly above last year’s number in both cities. The number of buses has been well below last year's number in Stockholm since March, with the largest difference of -32 percent in April and September the difference was -13 percent. In Gothenburg, buses were at about the same level as last year (+1 percent) (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Number of passing vehicles at congestion tax stations in Stockholm and Gothenburg (all passing vehicles at taxed hours, including vehicles exempted from tax). Difference between September 2020 and September 2019, percent.
Source: The Swedish Transport Agency

This means that Stockholm's bus traffic is still of a smaller scale than last year. The large reduction in buses mainly consist of express buses, chartered buses and bus traffic to the airports. Regional bus traffic is, according to timetables, at about the same level as last year after minor reductions during spring (see also the section on Public transport and passenger mobility).  

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