The city of Örebro, with around 130 000 inhabitants, has recognised the negative impacts brought by the growing passenger and freight traffic flows. From a global perspective, emissions of climate-changing pollutants are the most important. Tangible local effects in Örebro are noise, air pollution, accidents, and the existence unattractive environments. With the transport plan, that was approved in 2008, the city aims to a sustainable society, where the ability to travel and to transport goods meets the needs and desires of the people, but not at the expense of either environmental degradation or the impaired health of those living today or those of future generations.
Örebro has recognized that local car journeys dominate when it comes to negative effects of traffic. Parts of these problems remain even when vehicles become cleaner. Therefore the focus of the transport plan’s objectives and measures is on local travel within the city area.
The basis of the priorities in the transport plan is the so-called four-step principle. This means that, in order to solve a given problem, first of all attempts must be made to influence the actual need for travel or transportation, secondly the traffic that already exists there must be made more efficient, thirdly the existing infrastructure must be improved, and fourthly new infrastructure must be built.
A starting point of the plan is to change the conditions for the citizens so that it becomes rational to choose sustainable modes of transport. The objectives of the transport plan are grouped under seven headings.
- The scope of traffic: The municipality's goal is to change the way different types of travel are divided by implementing measures like expansion of the bus route network, biogas busses and development of cycling. The proportion of car journeys should decrease from 54 % to 40 % by 2020.
- Urban development: The goal is to create a more attractive, accessible and safe city by e.g. densifying the city structure, improving infrastructure, reducing speed limits and introducing new parking policies.
- Regional Transport system: The city will improve access in and out of the city for regional public transport.
- Road safety: The municipality supports the so-called zero vision project; namely that nobody should be killed or seriously injured on the roads. Reducing speed limits for motorised traffic is an important measure.
- Climate Impact: The intermediate objective is to reduce the impact on the climate by 40 per cent in the period 2000-2020. Measures include involving the municipality's own operations and the investment in biogas as a fuel for public transport.
- Air Quality: The concentrations of particles smaller than 10 μm (PM10) pose particular problems. Among the measures to be taken are a campaign to reduce the use of studded tyres during the winter and to lower speeds.
- Noise: The Municipality of Örebro applies the national goals for the impact of noise. However, deeper analysis is needed to prioritise actions.
The transport plan for the Municipality of Örebro is an important tool for developing the local and regional transport system in a systematic way. Thanks to step-by-step work, with participation from various parts of the organisation, the transport plan today functions as a well-established platform for measures that lead towards the objective.