The railway plan is prepared in accordance with a legally-regulated process whereby individuals and other stakeholders are offered the opportunity, for example through consultation and review, to give their opinions of the plan. The extension of the Metro to Barkaby, for example, has been the subject of a total of three consultations – in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Establishing a railway plan
The Swedish Transport Administration’s Plan Testing Department is tasked with ensuring that the plan complies with applicable legislation and assessing whether the railway plan can be approved. The plan must have specific content and follow a set procedure. The Swedish Transport Administration checks that the necessary documentation is in place and that the formal requirements have been met – for example, adherence to a democratic process that includes dialogue with local residents and other stakeholders, companies, municipalities, county councils and other regulatory authorities.
A number of different factors influence whether the underground railway can be built. The judgement is largely dependent on weighing up the individual and public interests involved and the extent to which the results comply with legal requirements for minimising intrusion and inconvenience. Intrusion into surrounding properties and impact on the surrounding environment, such as noise and vibration, are key parameters. Another is that the project is financed and that construction can begin within the railway plan’s validity period.
As the railway plan is closely linked with municipal zoning plans, it must be possible to implement the plan without contravening zoning regulations. The municipality therefore prepares a new zoning plan that includes the underground railway in those locations that are currently subject to a zoning plan, allowing the placement of the railway in these areas. These zoning plans follow the same timetable as the railway plan, with the respective consultations and reviews taking place simultaneously.
How long does it take?
The majority of plans submitted to the Swedish Transport Administration are generally approved within six months. The administration period may vary depending on the type and scope of a plan, as well as the number of views expressed about it. A considerable amount of material must be reviewed, with information on how the viewpoints expressed have been dealt with being an important factor.