High-speed trains’ popularity gains / News / The Foreigner

High-speed trains’ popularity gains. Support grows for CO2-cutting transport measures. A new poll conducted on behalf of Aftenposten shows 65 percent of those asked are in favour of high-speed trains in Norway. Almost eight out of ten answered they’d be willing to pay the price as a plane ticket for journey times of up to three hours between the largest cities in Southern Norway.

high-speed, trains, railways, investment, support, politicians, opinion



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High-speed trains’ popularity gains

Published on Saturday, 3rd April, 2010 at 14:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Support grows for CO2-cutting transport measures.

ICE3 train
ICE3 train
Photo: Sese Ingolstadt/Wikimedia Commons


“Promising”

A new poll conducted on behalf of Aftenposten shows 65 percent of those asked are in favour of high-speed trains in Norway.

Almost eight out of ten answered they’d be willing to pay the price as a plane ticket for journey times of up to three hours between the largest cities in Southern Norway.

Despite that the Progress Party (FrP) is the only one opposed to the trains, 61 percent of their voters also give the trains the thumbs-up.

Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa, the Centre Party’s (Sp) Minister for Transport and Communications is encouraged by the news. She believes the results show how important the government’s ongoing assessment of the trains’ viability is.

“The figures are promising, and must admit they are a positive surprise,” Kleppa tells the paper.

Red signal

But opinions differ outside the larger cities when it comes to prioritising. 74 percent in Northern Norway think precedence should be given to road-building instead.

And 56 percent of all interviewees, especially in Sørlandet and around Oslo, believe construction and maintenance of the existing rail network would be affected because of the huge investment costs.

In today’s leader, though, Aftenposten expresses scepticism.

“It’s easy to conclude that the poll shows considerable support for commencing one of the largest ever billion-kroner investment projects in mainland Norway... Thus, the fear is great that the crisis-ridden commuter traffic to and from Oslo and other big cities isn’t going to be adequately improved if the politicians set aside significant resources to high-speed trains.”

All change

The paper goes on to say that peoples’ fear is well-grounded. They claim using the same amount of money on both is hardly realistic, and that other factors could put a stop to the project anyway.

“Political weakness has been so great for so long, that the condition of both the roads and the railways is too poor. Neither can be neglected. This is in itself a limitation for a large-scale commitment to high-speed trains.




Published on Saturday, 3rd April, 2010 at 14:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: high-speed, trains, railways, investment, support, politicians, opinion.





  
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