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The importance of consultation

As part of the East Link project, significant work is currently being done in design, production and preparation for production. Our work on the East Link project will allow us to create the conditions required for society to develop.

We are making our contribution in the form of capacity improvement, regional development and faster and more reliable transport links. The story behind this work is both extensive and important. Of all the work currently being done, our consultation has the most visible profile.

Consultation with other agencies and municipalities is important in allowing us not only to take into consideration and collaborate with social development elsewhere, but also to pay as much consideration as possible to environmental factors. The collaboration that takes place between agencies and municipalities is an important factor in our success in terms of social development. It is collaboration that must be based on respect for our respective roles.

Consultation with those who live and work alongside our route is more than just a part of the Swedish democratic process – it is also important in allowing us at the Swedish Transport Administration to be able to improve our knowledge of the area in which we wish to build. It provides us with new knowledge which cannot be seen from the map. During the consultation process for the East Link, we have received a number of suggestions that we have picked up and run with. Suggestions and input are received both from agencies and from private individuals. The sooner we get in these views and suggestions, the easier it is to incorporate them into our planning work. This then helps us to design a railway that is as efficient as possible, while at the same time keeping any impact on the environment to a minimum.

One expressed wish is to get more people to make use of their opportunity to have an influence by taking part in the consultation process. The greater the spread in terms of age, gender and background of those expressing their views, the broader the underlying basis and knowledge in the project. We usually meet the public in the form of open forums where we explain about the project and listen to their views. Now there is also the opportunity to submit views and opinions via the project's website. How consultation will work in the future is something we need to continue to think about. Our next two consultation meetings will be held in Svalsta School in Nyköping on 15 June, and in Stavsjö's assembly house on 20 June.