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HomeLifestyleThreat to the only Public Transport to Österåkeranstalten Causes Concerns

Threat to the only Public Transport to Österåkeranstalten Causes Concerns

The air is thick with dust from a cluster of roaring work machines. There is intensive construction around the Österåkeranstalten a few miles north of Stockholm. Within the next few years, the institution will grow with 240 new places.

This also means entering a recruitment phase.

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– We will employ around 250 people, says the director of correctional services Fredrik Thunberg and explains that he had planned to contact the region due to the huge expansion.

– I was going to say that we probably need an increase in the frequency of the bus that goes here, he says, referring to line 635 which runs the almost six kilometers from Åkersberga station to Österåkeranstalten.

Today, the bus makes five trips a day along the narrow and winding country road. On weekends, there are two trips. There is no pedestrian or cycle path. The only option is car.

But before Fredrik Thunberg had time to speak with Region Stockholm, he got the news on a detour that the traffic administration proposed that the line should be shut down for cost-saving reasons. If the proposal becomes a reality, it will disappear in December.

– Then I have serious problems with staffing. It really doesn’t feel like the region has thought this through. I am very worried, says Fredrik Thunberg and sighs.

– There is enormous commitment from the staff, but this is a traditional menial profession. Not many people in this housing market can afford to have two cars in the family to get to work.

Correctional officers Emilia and Johanna , who do not want to use their surnames, commute daily by bus. Or they try anyway. Most of the time, it goes with an emergency call because there are so few departures.

– If the line is shut down, I would have to find another job, says Emilia, who became a permanent employee on this very day when DN is visiting.

– I thought there was a mistake when my mother told me that the line was threatened with closure. It won’t work, I thought. Then we can’t get to work.

All three point out that the cut-off communications also affect the institution’s visitors.

In the consultation proposal, there is no explanation as to why the administration wants to scrap the line. Emilia points out that if it is because the number of travelers is few, then it is backwards reasoning.

Elin Lindström, press informer at the traffic administration, points out that the 635 stands out in the proposal because it runs a route where there is no other public transport.

240 new places are being built at Österåkeranstalten. When the work is finished, the institution will have 312 places. Several new properties as well as new wall and culvert sections are also being built.

The air around Österåkeranstalten in Åkersberga has been thick with dust lately due to construction works aimed at increasing its capacity by 240 new places. At first glance this looks like good news for those seeking employment but not so much for those commuting by bus – its their only public transport solution and its threatened with closure due to cost-saving reasons by traffic administration.

Due to its tight schedule (only five trips during weekdays and two during weekends), correctional officers Emilia and Johanna , who do not want to use their surnames, face difficulties while commuting daily. They don’t have driver’s license so they cannot get to work in any other way making them dependent on public transport – something which director of correctional services Fredrik Thunberg believes should be taken into account before any decision is taken regarding scrapping of bus line 635.

It’s not just employees who may have their access restricted – parents of small children visiting inmates may also find it difficult due to lack of access leading them to take taxis for last bit – something which affects children’s opportunity to meet their parents according to Thunberg.

Elin Lindström from traffic administration points out that normally such information would have been taken into account before proposal went into referral but due to size of county such proposals slip by unnoticed sometimes. This makes it important for public opinion on aspects missed – like hiring new people – be taken into account before any decision on scrapping bus line 635 is taken.

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