The border controls between Denmark and Sweden have placed stress on local commuters. But now the government is offering a more convenient option.
Since January 2016, Sweden has implemented mandatory ID checks at the border of Denmark. This has been done to regulate the high fluctuation of immigrants. Those who frequently commute across the Øresund Bridge have had to adjust to a new routine involving longer train times and a heightened importance of remembering their ID.
Per Stenius, a student at Copenhagen Business School and Lund University, says he takes the train across the bridge around three times a week. “I am pretty divided about border controls, but I can understand why the government wants them and I can live with a little longer travel time. At one point I thought nah, I don’t want to do this anymore. But it seems to have speed up a bit recently.”
Train passengers travelling from Denmark to Sweden are currently required to switch trains at the Copenhagen Airport station for an ID checkpoint. In Hyllie, the first train station upon entering Sweden, the train stops for 10-15 minutes and the police will sometimes board the train to conduct an additional round of ID checks.
Linda Lindgren travels between Malmö and Copenhagen several days a week for her studies at the Copenhagen Business School and her part-time job. “From a day-to-day basis, I don’t mind so much. I used to live in the countryside and had to commute for 3 hours, so this isn’t so bad. It was easier before the border checks, but it was still time consuming.
“The bus always stops at Hyllie and waits for 10 minutes, even if there are no ID checks. They already check our IDs at Kastrup and I don’t think it’s necessary to check them again,” says Linda.
A recent agreement between the Swedish and Danish governments has been made. It will allow police to check IDs while the train is in motion. This will end the need to switch trains at the airport and it will eliminate the delays at the Hyllie station. Officials hope this change will decrease the current travelling time by 15 minutes (from 57 to 42 minutes). It is unknown when this change will be implemented, but it may happen as early as May 2017.
When asked what they would do with these extra 15 minutes, Pers replied: “Maybe stay in school a bit longer.. attend a party and not have to leave so early. When you sum it up for a month, it’s a lot of time you can save.”
“It makes it more simple. It would be a relief. I’m usually really tired after studying and I just want to go home,” said Linda Lindgren.