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The transport system has not progressed towards the objectives

17 April 2023

Society is not approaching a long-term sustainable transport system. This is stated by Transport analysis in its annual follow-up of the transport policy objectives. When it comes to maritime research, the authority sees signs of higher performance but not in patent applications and investment in technology.

Transport Analysis uses fifteen indicators to assess the state of the transport system, most of which indicate that development is too slow for the traffic policy objectives to be reached.

The authority warns in particular that the target regarding the transport sector's greenhouse gas emissions will not be reached – emissions did continue to decrease in 2022, but not at a fast enough pace to reach the milestone target of a 70 percent reduction by 2030.

The energy use per carried out transport work has mainly decreased in road traffic, which seems to have contributed to increased competitiveness for the sector. "More than half of all freight transport work use roads, while the even more energy-efficient freight transport by rail and sea has reduced its shares since the objectives were adopted." It is the heavier and more energy-efficient trucks that seem to increase their share of freight transport, writes Transport Analysis.

Changing a transport system means that a lot of sluggish processes must be set in motion. Some parts do better than others. Road transport and goods handling have had the ability to adjust and develop within the system, for example being able to meet increased demands from e-commerce through better logistics solutions. Other actors find it more difficult to adapt and make money, the report states.

Transport Analysis further writes that Sweden is far ahead in transport research and innovation, but that the achievements are specific to traffic types. Road transport, vehicle technology and fuels dominate research, investments and risk capital. In railways and shipping, signs of higher research achievements are seen, but not in patent applications and investments in transport technology.

In an international perspective, Sweden uses relatively large and increasing public funds on investments as well as operation and maintenance of transport infrastructure. Over time, companies' and public research budgets also increase, notes Transport Analysis.

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