Traffic success on the Storebælt link has been a fact for a long time. Now, we also know that the link has been a socio-economic success. The total, direct benefit to Danish society is valued at DKK 379 billion over 50 years – corresponding to DKK 9 billion per year – and, in addition, there are the wider economic gains. This is shown in an analysis published by Denmark’s Ministry of Transport and Sund & Bælt (September 2014).
Explosive growth in traffic
The analysis shows that traffic across the Storebælt Bridge has exploded since the opening. Before the bridge opened, it was estimated that around 20,000 vehicles would cross the bridge in 2013. Today, we know that the number was around 30,000. Between the opening in 1997 and 2013, lorry traffic increased by 271 per cent.
Train passengers have been big users of the tunnel and the bridge, which have replaced the previous slow shunting of the train on and off the ferries. During the time of the ferries, some 12,300 passengers crossed Storebælt daily. The figure is about twice that today.
Freight traffic has tripled since the opening – not least because the opening of the Øresund link made it possible to drive non-stop between Scandinavia and central Europe.
The link has thus not only made it easier to travel in Denmark, it has also been a good investment for society and is undoubtedly the best Danish transport investment ever.
The report ‘Ex post socio-economic analysis of the Storebælt link’ was written by Tetraplan /Incentive for Sund & Bælt and the Minister of Transport.
An edited version of the report can be found in ‘The Socio-Economic Importance of the Storebælt Fixed Link’.