The fixed link across Storebælt has resulted in significant changes to traffic flow between Denmark’s regions. It is now easier, faster and cheaper to cross Storebælt than in the days of the ferries.
During the first year of operations, car traffic across Storebælt doubled while rail passenger volumes rose by more than 50 per cent. Numbers have been rising well above other motorway sections in Denmark ever since.
Between 2006 and 2007, the number of vehicles crossing Storebælt increased by close to 7 per cent against a nationwide rise of 3.2 per cent. A significant proportion of the traffic growth of recent years on Storebælt derives from the general reduction in toll fees in June 2005 when charges for passenger cars were reduced by 20 per cent and by 5 per cent for lorries. Moreover, in September 2005, a series of additional discounts were introduced, including more attractive terms for private travellers at weekends.
In 2006, average car traffic across Storebælt was three times higher than during the era of the ferries and in 2007, averaged some 29,400 cars per day. By comparison, in the last full year of ferry services (1997), the ferries carried around 8,300 vehicles across Storebælt.
Rail travel has also benefited substantially from the fixed link with up to 130 daily train crossings compared to 40-45. Close to 22,000 passengers now travel by train across Storebælt each day against approx. 12,000 by ferry.