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The West Link Project has passed many milestones - part 2

The 1980s. Discussions begin about the rail system, the accessibility of central Gothenburg and capacity must be improved. The idea of a railway tunnel under Gothenburg is hatched.

We concluded the previous part with the various ideas and proposals that were studied in order to solve the capacity problems at Gothenburg Central Station. One reinforcement alternative and five expansion alternatives were studied:

The reinforcement alternativeKorsvägenHaga-KorsvägenHaga-ChalmersJärntorget-Sahlgrenska-ChalmersHjalmar Brantingsplatsen-Lindholmen-Järntorget-Sahlgrenska-Chalmers

The preliminary study gradually sifted out the last two alternatives to Järntorget and Hisingen, primarily due to their cost. The specialist knowledge required to assess the four remaining alternatives was acquired through over 20 reports that were used as evidence for the subsequent railway inquiry. The decision to pursue the Haga-Korsvägen alternative was made by the board of the Swedish Rail Administration in 2007.

The financing for the West Link Project was put in place in 2010 through the West Swedish Agreement. Only then could work on the railway plan begin, i.e. setting out the area needed in order to build the West Link. At the same time, the Government continued to assess the application for permission for the alternative chosen in 2007. In June 2014, the Government announced its decision to proceed with the West Link Project.

The county administrative board plays an important role in the entire planning process. At the end of 2014, it approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and six months later, following an extensive review process, approved the railway plan. The railway plan was ratified in spring 2016, with appeals against this plan subsequently being lodged with the Government. It is the Government that decides whether the railway plan can enter into legal force.

- The Government rejected all the appeals in June 2017 and the plan entered into legal force. Admittedly there is yet another authority, namely the Supreme Administrative Court, which receives around 8,000 applications for leave to appeal each year. Nevertheless, only two per cent of these are granted leave to appeal and it is unlikely that such an application against the West Link Project would be approved,, says Bo Lindgren, senior advisor in the West Link Project.

The Government has decided that the West Link Project will go ahead, but further permit applications still need to be approved because the project also involves water issues. It is the Land and Environment Court that determines the conditions for building in water. This process has been taking place for the past year, since we sent an application concerning this to the court. An extensive consultation process involving many concerned parties in the centre of Gothenburg has been conducted. The main court hearing is pencilled in for the first three weeks of October 2017.