Denmark cities to trial lower speed limits

The speed limit across 16 municipalities in Denmark could be lowered in a pilot scheme introduced by the Ministry of Transport to make roads safer.

Åboulevarden in Copenhagen. P
Åboulevarden in Copenhagen. On Monday 20th May, there will be a vote on whether to trial a lower the speed limit in the capital. Photo: Teitur Jonasson/Scanpix 2022

Following new speeding rules called hastighedsbekendtgørelsen, which were introduced by the Ministry of Transport on 6th January 2022, 16 municipalities in Denmark have been allowed to lower local speed limits from 50 to 40 kilometres per hour on selected sections in urban areas. 

This can be done without asking the police for permission and as long as it does not have a significant impact on the general traffic flow. It is part of a three-year pilot scheme to increase road safety. 

On Monday 30th May the Technical and Environmental Committee in Copenhagen will vote on whether to implement the lower speed limit in the capital.

The proposal is for there to be a maximum of 30 kilometres per hour in the entire inner city and 40 kilometres per hour in the outer part of the city, with some major roads maintaining the 50 kilometres per hour speed limit. 

“We want to slow down because it can help reduce CO2 emissions. We get better urban space, fewer serious traffic accidents, less air pollution and noise nuisance”, technical and environmental mayor Line Barfoed told DR News.

Dennis Lange from motorist organisation FDM doesn’t agree with Copenhagen’s plans. 

“The way the city of Copenhagen wants to do it is wrong. The pilot scheme does not aim to reduce the speed in the entire municipality. It is more about a political aversion to cars and about trying to get cars out”, he told DR News.

If the proposal for speed reductions is voted through on Monday, Copenhagen municipality will start the pilot scheme in Valby, and then roll it out over the rest of the city continuously over the next few years.

In Aalborg, lower speed limits begin this year. The municipality has already selected several stretches of road in the city centre, around schools and public institutions and on roads where there are many cyclists, as well as three villages including Gunderup.

“Hopefully there will be more calm, and we also have an easier time getting out of our driveway”, Gunderup resident Per Stig Larsen told DR News.

“We know that the speed has been a major nuisance for many citizens and has created unsafe conditions. If we can meet them, we want to. It is important to be able to move in a proper way and create better conditions in traffic”, Jan Nymark Thaysen, councillor for the City and Country department told DR News.

In Furesø, road engineer Anne Lisbeth Sørensen told DR News that three zones have been identified where the speed limit can be lowered but the physical work can only start in 2023, as they have not received money for it yet.

The 16 municipalities that are part of the lower speed limit scheme are: Aarhus, Aalborg, Frederiksberg, Allerød, Fredensborg, Frederikssund, Furesø, Gentofte, Hillerød, Hørsholm, Lyngby-Taarbæk, Rudersdal, Odense, Randers, Norddjurs and Copenhagen.

READ MORE: How and when should I exchange my foreign driving licence for a Danish one?

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Copenhagen to get 1,000 new electric car charging ports

Copenhagen Municipality has signed a deal with contractors to install an additional 1,000 new charging ports for electric cars in the Danish capital.

Copenhagen to get 1,000 new electric car charging ports

The number of electric cars in Copenhagen is increasing, meaning the city is seeing a growing demand for charging points for electric vehicles belonging to both commuters and residents, the city government said in a statement on Wednesday.

A contract to install around 1,000 new electric parking spaces in the city has now been agreed with suppliers.

The deal is the first round in a larger process to add 4,100 electric charging spaces in the city by the end of 2025, under a 2022 municipal agreement.

The suppliers, Clever A/S, OK A.m.b.A and E.ON Drive Infrastructure, win the contracts based on considerations including price for users, construction time, sustainability and the rent they will pay to install their chargers in the parking spaces, the municipality said.

The municipality’s elected head of the city infrastructure committee (Teknik- og miljøborgmester), Line Barfod, welcomed the completion of the concession process.

“In Copenhagen, we agree politically that sustainability and the environment should be highly emphasised and we have similarly valued the price for residents highly to make it attractive to be park of the green conversion of the car park,” she said in the statement.

“I’m pleased that we can now look forward to better charging options in Copenhagen Municipality, making it easier to drive green if you need a car,” she said.

The specific locations of the new charging spaces is yet to be agreed between municipality and suppliers, but their position will eventually be listed on the Copenhagen Municipality website.

READ ALSO: Why the electric bicycle is gaining popularity in Denmark