Follow-up of transport policies objectives 2024

Foto: Mostphotos

2023 was an eventful year in the Swedish transport system and in transport policy both domestically and at EU level. Trafikanalys states in a follow-up of the transport policies objectives that several challenges remain to approach the set goals and milestones.

During 2023, the Swedish transport system was affected by several major events that led to significant disruptions to traffic and transport. Train derailment for Arlanda Express and at Hudiksvall, the slide at Stenungsund and derailment at Malmbanan to name a few.

- Several of the events during the year can be directly or indirectly linked to extreme weather, which according to experts may become more common as the climate changes. This will be important to monitor in future target follow-ups, says Anders Brandén Klang, project manager for the target follow-up, Transportanalysis.

Lack of maintenance has led to a transportation system that is susceptible to disruption. It has also contributed to a year with even worse reliability in rail traffic. Punctuality for passenger trains in 2023 was the lowest since 2010. The total stoppages in the road network also increased compared to the year before.

At the same time, the transport system and its use are developing. A new planning system for train traffic has been introduced and part of the road network has been opened to traffic with both longer and heavier trucks. In both cases, the ambition is to achieve more efficient traffic. We also see continued energy efficiency in road traffic, both in terms of travel and transport.

During the Swedish presidency, negotiations were completed regarding the EU legislation linked to Fit for 55, which involves partly new frameworks for Swedish transport policy. Emissions from the non-trading sector, which includes road transport, must be reduced by 50 percent by 2030, and more transport will soon be covered by emissions trading systems. The legislative package must ensure that the EU's climate goals and commitments under the Paris Agreement are achieved.

In the Riksdag, a decision was made on a reduced reduction obligation and lower fuel taxes from 1 January 2024. Decisions which, according to the government, will lead to increased emissions in 2024. At the same time, there are signs of a slowdown in the electrification rate for the passenger car fleet. The probability that the national milestone goal (70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport other than air by 2030 compared to 2010) will be reached has thus decreased.

This year's follow-up also states that the development of road safety in terms of the number of fatalities is not going fast enough for it to be likely that the targets for 2030 will be reached on time. This applies to both deaths in road traffic accidents, and the number of deaths in suicides in rail traffic. Additional efforts will be required.