Bergen may get the world’s longest bicycle tunnel

Bike ride, bicycle tunnelIllustration: Bike ride, Photo: Norway Today Media

The planned three kilometre long tunnel through the Løvstakken will cost up to 150 million kroner. Today, nobody knows how many cyclists actually want to use it.

Marianne Skulstad is one of those who does want a bicycle tunnel between Fyllingsdalen and Minde.

When her job moved to the city center, she cycled to work. As it is now, she must climb nearly 200 meters above Melkeplassen to get to work.
A tunnel through the Løvstakken seems much more enchanting than today’s slog.

‘I commute from Spelhaugen to Nygårdstangen maybe four days a week. I think a bike tunnel will make many more want to ride a bicycle to work than those who do it today.

You would be more independent of wind and weather conditions, and those going from Fyllingsdalen to Haukeland and Mindemyren would get a shortcut,’ said Skulstad.

Part of urban development

The municipality’s Planning Department proposes to create a combined escape and bicycle tunnel when the light railway is built to Fyllingsdalen.

A similar tunnel in Lyon in France increased cycle use radically. But if an even longer tunnel in Bergen will have the same effect is as yet an unknown quantity.

‘The question is, though, whether the people of Bergen can afford this, and if the county municipality can afford it,’ said group leader, Tor A. Woldseth, of Fremskrittspartiet (the Progress Party – FrP).

‘In addition, it will be a very long tunnel. The mountain people are not used to walking or cycling through such a thing. How, and if, it will be used remains to be seen’, said Woldseth.

Only 3% are cycling today

Anna Elisa Tryti is city councillor for urban development in the municipality of Bergen. She has no doubts about whether she wants the bike tunnel.

‘The cost of 150 million has to be looked at from the perspective of what Bergen and the people of Bergen gain when it comes to using a bike. Today, Bergen is one of the cities in Norway that has the lowest percentage of people cycling anywhere in the country, only 3%.

Therefore, I hope that it is possible to carry out such a project. It would be ground-breaking to raise the percentage of those people using cycles between home and work.

The state would pay half of the costs for the world’s longest bicycle tunnel

The government has slated NOK 50 million on the table to build the 2.9 kilometre tunnel in Bergen.

The four partners, Høyre (Right), Frp, Kristelig Folkeparti (Christian People’s Party – KrF), and Venstre (Left), confirmed that they would pay half the bill for what would be the spectacular, longest bicycle tunnel in the world.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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