Not just one of the most charming bridges in the world, the Oresund Bridge is also a mega construction that links two important economies in Europe: Denmark and Sweden.
And this beautiful landmark is much more than just a magnificent example of infrastructure and architecture. The bridge integrates both cities of Malmo (in Sweden)and Copenhagen (in Denmark) -not just as a shorter transport connection- but also in an economically, politically and culturally way.
With nearly 4 million people, the Oresund region has taking some advantages of the benefits brought since the opening of this 16 kilometres bridge in July 2000.
Some statistics from the booklet The Oresund Bridge and its region, published in 2013 can help us to understand the importance of the bridge to both countries.
Since opening, nearly 70 million passenger cars, vans, lorries, coaches and other vehicles have crossed the bridge.
Traffic on the Bridge
It’s curious to say that yet in 2013, there was a 1.2% decline in traffic in 2013 to an average of 18,377 cars per day. The decline is due to a fall in commuter traffic, in commercial traffic by private cars and in cash sales to private motorists.
However, buses and lorries traffic is in continuous increase with a rise in average daily traffic from 1,035 in 2012 to 1,102 in 2013. For buses it involves daily notable growth of one, from an average of 112 in 2012 to 113 a day in 2013.
”An increase in freight transport is certainly a reflection of growing activity in the region’s economy, and that is a positive thing and a benefit for CMP. For example, we have registered an increase in the traffic of imported cars from our terminal in Malmö by car transporter over the Öresund Bridge to Copenhagen” – Gert Nørgaard, Strategy and Planning Manager, CMP.
In 2012, a research to know the purposes of the journeys for passengers through Oresund Bridge revealed that commuters represented 41% of all trips, while non-commercial commuters (people in leisure and holiday) were 26%; and 33% with other purposes.
Freight transports in lorries and vans and B2B traffic in passenger cars and vans, that is what commercial traffic are made at Oresund Bridge. In 2012, it was the first time when that the Oresund Bridge road link carried more than half – 51.5 per cent- of all lorries trips across the bridge.
The development of commercial traffic is extremely dependent on economic trends in society, not just in Denmark and Sweden but also throughout Europe.
Future Transport Development:
Up until 2015 traffic is expected to increase to around 4 per cent per year. In 2021, the fixed link under the Fehmarnbelt opens, and the following year it is expected to contribute to traffic growth of 5.5 per cent on the Øresund Bridge. It will contribute with 1.000 additional passengers across the bridge.
Rail traffic across the Oresund Bridge consists partly of high-frequency passenger trains, first and foremost the Oresund trains, and partly of international freight trains, which connect Sweden with the continent. In 2012, approximately 8,600 freight trains crossed the Oresund Bridge. They carried 5.8 million tons of cargo. This was 9 per cent fewer freight trains and 6 per cent less cargo than in 2011.
Sources: The Oresund Bridge and its region and Copenhagen port website.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons and Copenhagen -Malmo Port