What exactly is the situation with regard to costs. Is there any truth in the claim that the West Link is already about to run over budget?
No, absolutely not. We are keeping within the established cost frames – or in other words SEK 20 billion at the 2009 price level. As things stand at present there are no indications in support of the claim that the budget is insufficient to implement the project.
But in the debate there are claims of cost increases of 5, 10 and even 30 billion. How can that be?
The only purpose of the West Link Project budget is to execute this particular project. We intend to construct some 8 km of double-track railway through Gothenburg. A little over 6 km of this route runs in tunnels. We will also be building three stations, at Gothenburg Central, Haga and Korsvägen.
Investments for developing the city around the West Link are not included in the project assignment and budget – in exactly the same way as those investments that are currently being made at Skeppsbron in connection with the Göta Tunnel are not included in the budget for that project. The same applies to the developments around Gamlestaden, which come in the wake of the new commuter train station there.
So how have these figures come up?
As an element of a political discussion there are those individuals who choose to include investments that are in fact not part of the costs for the West Link Project, for example other railway investments that the Government has decided to make in the west of Sweden.
For instance, the planned double track railway between Gothenburg and Borås via Landvetter airport would be impossible unless we first make sure that we can run more trains in western Sweden. But that project is not included in the West Link Project, and instead has its own budget and financing.
It has been claimed, for example, that the escalators from the platforms are not part of the West Link Project. Is this true?
No, that is incorrect. When we hand over the West Link to the passengers in 2026 they will be able to reach new areas in Gothenburg by train – unlike today where all trains stop at Gothenburg Central Station. We will construct an accessible and safe West Link complex that is adapted to suit the demands of its passengers. In addition to this, the potential for developing the areas in the vicinity of the new stations is one of the main reasons why the present alternative for the West Link was chosen.