High taxes on transport have done nothing to improve road-standards. In this parliamentary election year, the politicians want to do something about it.
Amongst the worst in Europe
Results of the Global Competitiveness Report of 2008-2009 drawn up by the World Economic Forum, list Norwegian roads as being worse than in Greece. Jesper Friis Petersen, the Danish head of Ringnes brewery, was one of approximately 100 top leaders from Norway invited to participate in the world’s largest study, out of a total of 12,000 around the globe. He said that
“there’s no doubt that Norway has underinvested in roads. Norway lags far behind when compared with other countries,. It’s clear that transport in Norway costs considerably more than it does in other countries precisely because of its road-standard.”
Yesterday, politicians from many of the political parties gathered in Oslo to discuss the future of transport here. On 13 March Liv Navarsete, the Transport Minister, will unveil a national transport plan that will sketch out how roads are to be prioritised under Norwegian transport policy for the next 10 years Here are excerpts of what was said and by whom, printed in Aftenposten.
Truls Wickholm – Labour (Arbeiderpartiet, Ap)
“We have had a non-existent transport policy. Politicians need to be more resilient when it comes to shouldering the burden of building better roads, even when this conflicts with what people are concerned with locally.”
Hallgeir Langeland – Socialist Left (Sosialistisk Venstreparti, SV)
“There has never been as much put in to roads as there is now…something which increases pollution…We must talk about trains, buses, and trams, and move heavy transport off the roads on to trains.”
Trond Helland – Right (Høyre, H)
“We need our own national road-plan that raises the perspective of Norwegian politics…We have said that we will double the level of investment.”
Borghild Tenden – Left (Venstre, V)
“We will use more money on roads in order to raise the standard of safety. We must ensure that lorries get there with their goods.”
What the Minister says herself
“The problem is that we have used much less on transport in Norway than in other countries. It’s difficult to get agreement politically that infrastructure is fundamental for achieving economic growth”, she told the Norwegian Telegram Bureau (NTB).
She agrees that Norwegian road-subsidy has been appalling the past 30 years.
“I couldn’t have put it better myself.”
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