Swedish Infrastructure Bill
The Swedish government has put forward its long-term infrastructure bill, with proposed funding of SEK 876 billion to be allocated to maintaining current and constructing new infrastructure.
Although this was an increase of SEK 176.5 billion, compared to the previous long-term infrastructure bill, it is not assessed to be nearly enough to cover the projects planned. Instead, the bill does not point out individual construction projects nor prioritise in between projects.
The Swedish government states that new high-speed railways between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö shall be constructed, but does not say when or where any new stations will be built, nor the specifications for such railways. It is believed that it will cost almost SEK 300 billion to build them, which only illustrates how tight the funding of the bill is.
The SEK 165 billion allocated for maintenance and repair of the present railway system and SEK 197 billion for maintenance of the road system is less than needed. The government has decided against projects being financed by government loans. This means that Sweden will actually de-invest in the transport system, if the bill is passed.
Air transport, airports as well as shipping and ports are not covered in the bill, making additional decisions necessary.
The goal is to have emissions free transportation by 2045, but there are questions regarding the policy to promote electrification, biofuels and a more effective transport system.
Altogether, this means that the discussions about projects, priorities and funding will continue for the time to come. Next steps will be for Trafikverket, (The Swedish Transport Administration) to design the action plan before the end of October, with public consultation October-December and a final decision by the government on the National Plan for infrastructure expected next year.