Motorists must fork out 7.5 billion for Trondheim Urban Package

Toll roads sign urban packageToll road sign. The days when you were told how much everyday travel cost you, are over in Norway. Photo: NAF

Motorists must foot a NOK 7.5 billion bill for the Trondheim Urban Package

The government signs the Trondheim Urban Package on Thursday. The so-called Environmental Package entails many billions in added expenses for the motorists in the Trondheim area.

A substantial part of the financing of the Urban Package is through user contribution (i.e. the beloved road tolls). The horse traded was finalised in March 2019.

“It is assumed in the financing plan of the Environmental Package that an expected road tolls income of NOK 3.33 billion in the period 2019–23 and NOK 4.12 billion in 2024-2029, totalling approximately NOK 7.45 billion for the whole period,” the agreement states.

Leader of the Liberals, Trine Skei Grande, will be present during the signing. She describes the Urban Growth Package as a very important part of a green and forward-looking transport effort. The Minister of Culture is not attending in any official capacity.

“Bymiljøavtalene har vært en suksess. Rekordmange reiser kollektivt. Det betyr renere luft, mindre kø og lavere klimautslipp,” Grande tells NTB.

The signing takes place at Trondheim Central Station and is carried out by the Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, Monica Mæland (Conservatives) on behalf of the Norwegian Government.

Signeringen skjer på Trondheim sentralstasjon og utføres av kommunal- og moderniseringsminister Monica Mæland (H) på vegne av regjeringen. State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Anders Werp (Conservatives), signs on behalf of Minister of Transport Jon Georg Dale (Progress Party).

Half from the Norwegian State

It appears from the agreement that the tariffs in the road wall system of the Urban package were raised on June 1st 2018 and the collection period extended until 2029.

Operating expenses are estimated at NOK 550 million, which, according to the agreement, means that the net income from the toll wall will amount to around NOK 6.9 billion.

In Trondheim, the Norwegian state will cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of the planned Metro bus. This applies to county and municipal roads as well (up to NOK 1.7 billion).

“Det forutsettes at det årlige statlige bidraget utgjør inntil 50 prosent av det reelle behovet for midler til prosjektene, og at bompenger/lokale midler som et minimum utgjør en tilsvarende andel hvert år,” it is written.



Battle regarding the Urban Package concept

The discussion surrounding road tolls has been vocal this spring, among other reasons, because the People’s Action No to more Road Tolls (FNB) has skyrocketed on the polls in several Norwegian cities and municipalities ahead of this autumn’s local elections.

Two weeks ago, an extraordinary National Congress of the Progress Party adopted six demands to lessen the road tolls. Aborting new Urban Growth Packages and cutting costs in existing packages are two of those demands.

The urban growth packages are struggling financially even today, as a successful electric car policy has reduced the road toll revenues more than expected.

“The City Growth Packages are in practice not funded, that rides us. This is due to the fact that climate policy is successful in the sense that more use public transport. This entails that the income from the road tolls is less,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) tells NTB.

Zero growth target

The overshadowing goal of Urban Package policy is to ensure that any growth in passenger transport is by public transport, cycling and walking.

This so-called zero growth target is in the National Transport Plan (NTP) and is also referred to in the Granavolden government platform.

The four government parties have discussed the situation of the toll roads. Both the Christian Democrats and Liberals decline to renegotiate the platform in the wake of the demands from a besieged Progress Party.

NOK 66.4 billion has been set aside for Urban Environment/Development/Growth agreements, including a reward scheme, in the NTP for 2018–2029

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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