The tramway project of Lund’s Municipality, Skånetrafiken and Region Skåne has met some difficulties. The project is being stopped by the new political opposition in Lund for at least two more years. Nevertheless, the municipality has to react to the huge daily commuting to and from the city. Indirectly, this project might also help students find housing more easily.
“40 000 commuters come and go via Lund central station every day,” says Jurate Paulsson, communication manager of Tramway Lund C – ESS.
This migratory flux, which is continuously growing, shows the need to expand sustainable transport.
The tramway with its 5.5 kilometres will be a new addition to the existing “Science Road”, Kunskapsstråket. Originally, the project was planned for 2018, but politicians will now probably postpone the decision for two more years.
What is involved in this project and why does it lead to controversy?
The appearance of a tramway in Lund
This substantial project, which will cost 720 millions SEK in infrastructure, aims to connect Lund C to Science Village/ESS in 14 minutes, via Universitetssjukhuset, LTH, Ideon, Höjdpunkten, Solbjer, Brunnshög centrum and Max IV.
This project is loaded in favour of science students and the Science Village, which will be one of Lund’s main attractions for international students. Indeed, this famous cluster in Lund might be an attractive area for future international researchers thanks to the tramway, Max IV and ESS.
“This focus allows the city to have more benefits by attracting people in Brunnshög, which will combine housing, some workplaces and green areas,” says Jurate Paulsson.
More available housing
Indirectly, the project will help expand housing in northern Lund, and generally the city will become more compact. The large car parks, for example near Ideon, which can be regarded as a waste of space, will be removed to build new regular housing for students as well as families. Ideon is an area that will undergo many changes.
Jurate Paulsson adds that “nowadays, people only go to this district to work and to park their car. The tramway may stimulate the urban development in the Ideon area – as well as in other areas along the line.”
Maintain a green city
Moreover, the tramway is one of the strategies of Lund’s municipality to decrease car traffic in the city. The goal is to have “sustainable traffic with 30 per cent of cars, 30 per cent of bicycles and 30 per cent of public transportations along the Science Road,” according to Jurate Paulsson.
Most of the tracks will be covered by grass, highlighting Lund’s status as a green city while also maintaining biological diversity.
Tickets for students
Obviously, the most important aspect of this project is how much it will cost for students. Operated by Skånetrafiken, the cost of a tram ticket will be equal to the bus fare. However, this project shows that Skåne may not yet be prepared to reduce the cost of public transportation for students. Perhaps this project should launch an interesting offer for students; or else, the main users of the tramway will be researchers, professors and workers in general.