Toll roads for city packages – bad solution

Toll roads signToll road sign. Photo: NAF

Toll Roads for city packages – expensive and bad solution

NAF (Norwegian RAC) is against Toll Roads. Road and other means of transportation ought to be a public responsibility.

 

In several Norwegian cities and urban areas, a Toll Roads insurgence has started this year. This autumn we saw that the populations of Stavanger and Sandnes (the North Jæren region), Oslo, Fredrikstad, Bergen, Drammen and Kristiansand have gathered to protest against the enormous increases in Toll Road fees.

People feel that a limit has been reached (and then some), both for what wallet can withstand and what is fair and square.

In the Stavanger region, it has gone so far that people carry out sabotage of the automated Toll stations.

That is excessive, according to NAF (Norges Automobil-forening). At the same time, we understand the frustration. Because nobody has any adequate answers to the protesters.

Catch 22

The local politicians claim that the Norwegian state requires that they implement measures that ostensibly will reduce traffic, and that the only viable option is toll roads. The Government and Parliamentarians return the ball, responding that when the local politician’s requests implementing tolls, they only follow the will of the locals when they grant the permission to do so.

Toll roads must be fought through politicians find better solutions to finance our roads instead of blaming each other.

Lots of road construction => Lots of Toll Roads

The tolls have increased immensely by changing Governments. Currently, the politicians are leaning heavily on road tolls to finance much of the road and public transport efforts in and around the urban areas.

And it is in the cities the protests have been most powerful: By means of «packages», politicians adopt projects that will improve roads, bicycle roads, provide public transport and improve accessibility. Tolls pay for about half of the total costs, including large administrative overheads and revenues.

The Toll stations baked into the city packages also have a different justification. They are used to reduce traffic and achieve the goal the politicians have set that car traffic should not increase in cities.

Transportation is the responsibility of the community

the community is responsible to facilitate for daily travel, enabling us to go to work, for leisure activities, to the shops and attend cultural events. Without good transport solutions, society stops, and then we talk about road transport, bus, trains and bikes.

With population growth in cities, everybody cannot drive their own private cars at all times and everywhere. Implementing road tolls, the politicians have placed an increasing share of the responsibility for the financing of transport solutions on Joe Blow. That is not sustainable.

The Government must foot a larger part of the bill for major investments in urban transport. In addition, NAF wishes that the politicians investigate road pricing as an alternative to tolls as a means to regulate traffic.

Then we can abolish many of the fees relating to cars. Road pricing must not be a substitute for the manner in which tolls are being used to pay for roads, public transport and bicycle paths. In that case, politicians repeat the same mistake they make today: placing the responsibility for an important common good on the individual.

 

© NAF / #Norway Today

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