During Storebælt’s first year of operations, traffic doubled while the number of train passengers increased by more than 50 per cent.
Thousands of vehicles drive across the Storebælt Bridge on a daily basis and it has become much easier to travel to different parts of Denmark compared to the days of the ferries. Before the Storebælt fixed link was built, it took one hour to cross Storebælt. In addition to this, there was the waiting time at the ferry port and the need to plan the time of departure. Today, it takes 12 minutes to drive across, there is no waiting time and no planning to account for the ferries’ departure times is required.
It has not only become faster, but also cheaper to cross Storebælt. Today it costs DKK 223 to cross the bridge by car using Brobizz. The same trip by ferry cost DKK 335 in 1998 corresponding to DKK 472 in today’s prices – the price has, therefore, halved.
From 2006 to 2007, the number of vehicles across Storebælt increased by almost 7 per cent while traffic nationally increased by 3.2 per cent. Some of the traffic increase on Storebælt between 2005 and 2007 was due to a decrease in the toll fees in June 2005 – 20 per cent for passenger cars and 5 per cent for lorries. Moreover, in September 2005, new discount schemes were launched which, amongst other things, benefitted the leisure traveller at weekends.
In 2006, average vehicle traffic across Storebælt reached three times the level of the previous ferries.
In 2009, for the first time since its opening, the bridge experienced a 2.0 per cent decline in vehicle traffic. The decline continued into 2010 when traffic fell by 2.9 per cent. This was mainly due to the hard winter weather and the general downturn in the economy. In 2011 and 2012, traffic began to increase again and rose by 3.1 and 0.7 per cent respectively.
In 2013, traffic remained at 2012 levels whereas traffic in 2014 rose by 0.5 million crossings. Growth amounted to 4.4 per cent compared to 2013 and the overall traffic figure of 11.4 million vehicles in 2014 is the highest in the bridge’s lifetime. In 2015, this record was beaten with 11.9 million vehicles, which was 4.6 per cent higher than the record from 2014.
The average daily traffic amounting in 2015 to 32,548 vehicles. By way of comparison, in 1997, which was the last full year with ferry operations, around 8,300 vehicles were transported across Storebælt.
Number of vehicles year for year:
Train traffic has also benefitted significantly from the fixed link across Storebælt. An average of 133 trains crossed Storebælt on a daily basis in 2015 compared to 40-45 before the bridge’s opening.
In 2015, an average of 22,400 passengers travelled by train across Storebælt on a daily basis against around 12,000 when the ferries were in operation.
Number of passengers year for year:
Number of passenger and freight trains: