A snow blissard overnight Thursday caused severe transport disruption in the Stockholm area. Photo: Ekot
call for action after Friday's travel chaos

Travel chaos - "Stockholm cannot be paralysed like this"

Traffic was flowing relatively freely in the Stockholm area on Saturday with public transit operator SL stating that it will be holding an urgent meeting with bus contractors and road maintenance crews to look at how it can avoid Friday's travel chaos in the future.

SL says that several hundred thousand people in the greater Stockholm were affected well into Friday evening by the complete breakdown in bus services brought on by heavy snow and ice.

At 7pm Friday, buses travelling outwards from the central terminal of Slussen towards Nacka and Värmdö were still struggling uphill on icy roads with commuters experiencing a two hour trip on a journey that usually takes 25 minutes.

The Social Democrats in Stockholm County Council called on Saturday for SL to reveal its contracts with the bus contractors. The opposition county councillor for the Social Democrats Helene Hellmark Knutsson told the SVD newspaper.

"Stockholm cannot be paralysed like this, people cannot go to work or school. In addition, people's everyday life was affected and there was around a million kronor in lost wages, costs that don't end up in SL's account,." she told the paper.

Moderate politician Christer G Wennerholm, the chairman of SL, told SVD that it may fine any bus operators that didn't fulfill their contracts.

" It might be that the operators that made the decision to cancel their services may have been too cautious in their judgement."

At least 20 traffic accidents were reported in the Stockholm area on Friday afternoon.

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