Trains between Malmö and Lund stopped for a week

Train services between the cities of Malmö and Lund are to be completely stopped for an entire week from Sunday, with the 60,000 daily users forced instead to take buses, cars or cycles.

Trains between Malmö and Lund stopped for a week
The Swedish Transport Administration is doubling the number of tracks between Malmö and Lund. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
“It will be a difficult week for those who commute between Malmö and Lund,” the Swedish Transport Administration, wrote on its website. 
“The cessation of services will be less difficult for those who can replan their journey, ride together or work from home.” 
The trains are being stopped to switch the route to two temporary tracks, so that work can begin on a project to increase the number of tracks between Malmö and Lund from two to four. 
Traffic stopped on Sunday, and local Pågatåg and Öresundståg commuter trains will not start running again until next Sunday August 29th (although SJ intercity trains, the Snälltåget and freight trains will start running on the route midday on August 28th.
The local transport company, Skånetrafiken, is arranging 80 replacement buses on the Malmö-Lund route, and additional buses to Burlöv, Åkarp and Hjärup, the three stops in between. 
It is also adding extra buses to routes 130, 131, 169 and 171 which connect the two cities. 
Anders Engzell, the company's spokesman, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper that due to the ongoing pandemic, drivers would be careful not to allow crowding. 
“The drivers and our staff at the bus stops will decide when buses are full,” he said. “On the other hand, we've lost 35-40 percent of our passengers because of coronavirus.” 
In peak hours, as many as 7,000 people take services between Malmö and Lund every hour. 
The local municipality in Lund is offering guided cycle-commuting  from Värnhemstorget, a square i Malmö, to Arenatorget, a square in Lund, for those unsure how to make the 16km, one-hour trip. 
“Cycle guides from Lund municipality will cycle together with you in small groups,” the Swedish Transport Administration said in a statement
Skånetrafiken is using the freed-up rolling stock to run “bonus trains” between Malmö and Helsingborg, which will travel direct without stopping. 

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Train staff threaten wildcat strike in Skåne on Monday

Trains could be disrupted across Skåne in southern Sweden on Monday after the SEKO transport union threatened a wildcat strike over an attempt to remove a troublesome union official.

Train staff threaten wildcat strike in Skåne on Monday
Arriva, which operates the Pågatåg train network, faces a strike. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The union has set up a strike committee after Arriva, the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary which runs the Pågatågen regional trains, offered Ola Brunnström, the union's health and safety official, two years of salary if he took voluntary redundancy.  
“For us, what was the straw on the camel's back was the attack on the right to self-organisation, that what they are doing is actually breaking the law,” a member of the new committee told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
“Ola Brunnström is a chief health and safety official and he should be protected under the Trade Union Representatives Act.” 
Brunnström has denied the offer, but Arriva wants to push ahead nonetheless and is set to meet him, together with Seko representatives on Monday. 
According to Seko, the meeting between Brunnström and Arriva will centre on an  email he wrote to other Seko-affiliated staff on October 9th, when he wrote: “We are not afraid of the bosses, they should be afraid of us.” 
Jonas Pettersson, Seko's head of planning and communication, told Sydsvenskan that Arriva had been trying to silence a high profile union official with a long hisotry of pushing for better safety for the company's employees. 
Arriva would only tell Sydsvenskan that they had had a discussion with one of their employees. 
Brunnström has in recent months been a vocal participant in a struggle with the company over equipment to protect staff from being infected with coronavirus, over loo breaks, and also over Arriva's moves to unilaterally reduce employees hours and salary. 
Pettersson said Seko would do everything in its power to prevent Brunnström losing his job, but said the union could not support a wildcat strike and encouraged its members not to take part in it.