Denmark open to Malmö metro link if Sweden foots the bill

Politicians in Denmark are in favour of a new metro line linking Danish capital Copenhagen and southern Swedish city Malmö - if Sweden agrees to pay for it.

Denmark open to Malmö metro link if Sweden foots the bill
The existing Öresund bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen. Photo: Becky Waterton

In February this year, Danish politicians approved the route of the new M5 metro line, choosing the route which crosses the island of Amager which would make a metro line between Copenhagen and Malmö logistically possible.

Politicians on both side of the Öresund are in favour of the idea, with Copenhagen city mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen describing a Malmö metro as a “gamechanger” in comments to Denmark’s Politiken newspaper.

Malmö’s mayor, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, is also in favour of a new metro line between Malmö and Copenhagen, which would halve the 40 minute travel time between the two cities and lessen the strain on the existing train route over the Öresund bridge.

Stjernfeldt Jammeh believes that it may be possible to finance the build with assistance from the EU, as well as income from ticket sales on trains across the Öresund bridge.

Despite this, the final bill would most likely rack up to billions of Danish kroner. 

Denmark is already building a new train tunnel to Fehmarn in Germany, which will further increase the number of freight trains crossing the Öresund bridge when it is completed in around six years’ time.

However, with Denmark fully financing the Fehmarn tunnel at a cost of 35 billion Danish kroner, the interest for Danish politicians in taking on another expensive international infrastructure project is low – unless Sweden agrees to pay.

“If the Swedish state wants to pay for the Öresund metro to be built, we could get going more quickly without having to compromise on the other metro lines we’d like to develop in Copenhagen,” Hæstorp Andersen told Politiken.

The final decision will be up to negotiation by the Danish and Swedish governments, although Danish transport minister Thomas Danielsen told Politiken that a metro to Malmö is not a particularly high priority.

“It would most likely be a large, expensive project and our focus for the moment is to establish a metro in southern Copenhagen as well as a metro line to Lynetteholm, which are both already large projects.”

Michael Vindfelt, the mayor of Frederiksberg – which lies within Copenhagen but is its own municipality – agrees, telling Politiken that it is an “even better idea” to expand the Copenhagen metro to other areas of the Danish capital first.

“There’s already enough to be getting on with,” he said.

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Denmark-Sweden Öresund commutes hit record high but freight journeys down

The combined number of ferry and bridge journeys by private individuals across the Öresund between Denmark and Sweden hit a new record in 2023.

Denmark-Sweden Öresund commutes hit record high but freight journeys down

Last year saw over 100,000 private trips over the crossing on average each day, according to a press statement from Øresundsbron, the operator of the Øresund Bridge.

Train travel saw the largest increase of any journey type, according to the statement.

Øresundsbron identified what it says are three key trends in traffic across the straits.

These are: a record number of private car and train journeys over the Öresund Bridge, as well as a record number of ferry trips between Helsingborg and Helsingør; an upward trend in commuters, but to a level still lower than in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic; and a slowdown in freight transport compared to 2022.

The fourth quarter of 2023 saw 19,351 journeys each day, the busiest quarter for the crossing in the period 2016-2023. The annual total remains four percent lower than in 2019.

“Commuting over the Öresund is one of the clearest indicators for integration across the Öresund, and the fourth quarter shows a clear positive trend,” Øresundsbron director of marketing Berit Vestergaard said in the statement.

“It’s now more attractive than ever for many Swedes to work in Denmark and for Danes to move to Sweden,” she said.

READ ALSO: Denmark open to Malmö metro link if Sweden foots the bill

Freight traffic over the Öresund was the only category which declined in 2023 with a six percent decrease in goods trains as well as lorries and commercial vans. The overall level of goods traffic was the same as in Covid-hit year 2020.

The data is drawn from Øresundsbron’s statistics bank, Øresundsindex.