Frequently asked questions about the exemption for congestion tax in Backa, Gothenburg

On May 1, 2018, an exemption from congestion tax for the Backa area in Gothenburg will begin. The exception means that only transit traffic through the Backa area will be taxed.

Here we have gathered some of the most common questions and answers regarding the exemption.

The exemption applies in the Backa area and Pay Stations 17-21, or in other words on the access and exit roads between Backa and the E6 highway north of Tingstad.

The proposal involves the erection of new road gantries, referred to as control points, west of Backa if the exemption is to work. The fundamental principle is for Pay Stations 17-21 to be exempted from congestion tax but for through-traffic to be taxed. Only those road users who pass a control point before or after one of these pay stations within 30 minutes will be taxed.

Previously, tax was levied on all vehicle owners whose vehicle passed through Pay Stations 17-21. The change in the law means that only those vehicle owners whose cars pass through the Backa area will be required to pay congestion tax.

The basic purpose of the current structure and design of the congestion tax levied in the Backa area is to avoid through-traffic. This purpose has been achieved, but has also resulted in crossings into and out of the area that is taxed. The stations have proved as barriers for those people who live and work in Backa, since they have to pay congestion tax if, for example, they want to go shopping, leave their children at day care centres, etc. Following an extensive dialogue with local residents and business people in the area, and a local decision-making process, the parties in the West of Sweden Package decided that the negative effects on Eastern Hisingen are unacceptable.

The exemption applies to all vehicle owners.

The exemption will be permanent. The decision will be taken by Parliament and will apply until something else is decided. It is Parliament that decides on changes in the Congestion Tax Act.

At present, no further exemptions are being considered.

On the one hand, a proposal on exemption needs to be studied with respect to function and impact. Before a decision can be made by the Government and Parliament, a study needs to be made about whether or not it complies with other legislation.

There are no problems with congestion inside the area. But in order to prevent congestion developing, through-traffic needs to be regulated.

Those pay stations that already exist will remain. There will in other words be no difference in their number. However, in order to be able to distinguish between traffic entering and leaving Backa, and through-traffic, the Swedish Transport Administration will need to erect so-called control points. Congestion tax will not be charged at these control points.

There is a general consensus that Backa has been affected to a particularly negative extent, and this has been taken into account by the steering committee for the West of Sweden Package.

You will only have to pay congestion tax when you pass a pay station. No congestion tax will be charged at the control point. If the period between the crossings is less than 30 minutes, congestion tax will be charged. The amount levied is based on the time at which you passed the pay station.

The multi-crossing rule applies in the normal way. If you pass several of the pay stations in the area within a period of 60 minutes, you only have to pay for one of the crossings. No congestion tax is charged at the control points.