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Bridge linking Denmark and Sweden closed as cyclists spotted on it

Bicycles are banned from Oresund Bridge which combines motorway and rail link

A bridge linking Denmark and Sweden was closed yesterday morning after four people were spotted cycling on it.

Bicycles and pedestrians are banned from the 8-kilometre long Oresund Bridge which features in the television crime series, The Bridge.

The structure forms part of the link between the Swedish city of Malmo with the Danish capital Copenhagen.

It spans the Oresund strait between the coast of Sweden and the man-made island of Peberholm in Denmark, with the rest of the crossing achieved via a 4-kilometre tunnel.

The fourth longest bridge in Europe, it is also the longest one in the world that links two separate countries.

The crossing was closed for around an hour and a half after the four cyclists, heading for Sweden, were spotted on surveillance cameras, reports thelocal.se. It reopened at 6.41am.

“Two people were stopped by police en route while the others came out on the other end of the tunnel at Peberholm,” said a spokesman for the bridge’s operator.

“They began moving across the traffic lanes and railway. We first closed Sweden-bound traffic and then shut down the whole bridge,” he added.

After arresting the cyclists, Danish police said: “We are investigating who these people are. We are finding out where they came from, who they are and what their intentions were.”

It is believed that the four are most likely to have been asylum seekers.

While both Sweden and Denmark are in the Schengen zone, earlier this year border controls on the bridge as a result of a huge increase in the number of people seeking asylum in Sweden, which received 163,000 applications in 2015, most of those in the final six months of the year, and 35,000 being unaccompanied minors.

The Swedish government has described the influx of refugees as “untenable,” adding that it “entails many and major challenges for the Swedish asylum system and for other public services such as access to housing, health and medical care, schools and social welfare.”

> Refugees cycle across borders on children's bikes to avoid dangerous sea crossings

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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