Ole Sørensen - Articles and news items
Issue 3 2012 • 25 June 2012 • Ole Sørensen, Head of the Light Rail Secretariat and Project Manager, Midttrafik
Construction of the initial phase of Denmark’s first light-rail network has now progressed from the planning to the construction phase, as the Danish Government recently passed the Aarhus Light Rail Act. Work towards the building of a light-rail network in the Aarhus area began in 2007 when eight local authorities, the Central Denmark Region, and the regional public transport authority, Midttrafik, entered a formal partnership to develop a light-rail transit network (LRT network) centred around Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus.
The procurement strategy for Phase 1 of the LRT network will soon be presented. It is expected that prequalification and tender will take place during summer and autumn 2012. At the same time, the parties involved in the Aarhus Light Rail Partnership are planning to extend the network with more light-rail lines in Aarhus and to neighbouring towns in the Aarhus region. The State is also considering a possible new and fast regional railway line between Silkeborg and Aarhus.
The vision to build a light-rail transit network around Aarhus is now closer to becoming a reality as the Danish Government has adopted the Aarhus Light Rail Act of 8 May 2012.
As a consequence of the continual increasing load on the entire traffic system, the city of Aarhus has for some years being working to establish a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. The first stage of the LRT encompasses a connection of the two existing railways (Odderbanen and Grenaabanen) and the construction of approximately 12km of new light rails. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) together with the local authority plan supplement for the first stage of the LRT system has recently been through the second public hearing, and the project has been well received by the public. Therefore, planning for the future work will soon be in place.
For some years now there has been great focus on giving high priority to public transport in the area of Aarhus – Denmark’s second largest city, situated on the peninsula of Jutland. The population in the area is 690,000, of which 300,000 are living in the Aarhus Municipality. Decisions were made to establish bus lanes on the big radial roads in Aarhus. In some stretches, the bus lanes should be considered as the first steps towards the introduction of light rail transits (LRT). In Aarhus, the planning work for an initial light rail stage, in which two existing railways (Grenaabanen and Odderbanen) are to be connected to a new light rail track, is well under way. Work is currently under way on new stages of rail and light rail extensions to unite the large towns of Eastern Jutland in a high-frequency public traffic system.