Norwegian Transport Minister ready to test out ban on petrol and diesel cars in parts of Bergen and Oslo

CarsPhoto: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB
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Minister of Transport and Communications Knut Arild Hareide (KrF) is ready to allow pilot projects that would test out a ban on petrol and diesel cars in parts of Bergen and Oslo. NAF is skeptical.

“The government will facilitate testing in the form of pilot projects. Zero-emission zones will be able to contribute to faster phasing in of zero-emission vehicles,” Hareide told newspaper Aftenposten.

Bergen and Oslo want to test such zones to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases from petrol and diesel cars. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has been given the task of looking at the legal, technical, and practical issues related to such efforts. 

The Public Roads Administration will assess how such projects can be implemented without including the main road network and national roads.

“A ban-based zero-emission zone is a very intrusive measure. I still want to make it easy for a few cities that want it to try this out,” Hareide noted in a press release from the Ministry of Transport and Communications on Tuesday.

“Discrimination”

Introduction means a ban on diesel and petrol cars in some streets or areas in cities. It is not known how the ban will affect hybrid cars.

The Norwegian Automobile Association (NAF) is skeptical about the introduction of local zero-emission zones. The organization, with almost half a million members, says the measure discriminates against motorists and points out that mostly those with high incomes can afford to buy electric cars.

Closing down individual streets for petrol and diesel cars will thus lead to differential treatment in favor of those with good finances, NAF warns.

The Minister of Transport and Communications believes that the biggest challenge is to make the lives of the citizens and the business community work with the restrictions.

“We must not create too many inconveniences for people who can not afford to buy an electric car immediately,” Hareide said, adding that it is “correct to point out that these are intrusive measures.”

In Oslo, the city center from Aker Brygge up to and including Tøyen, Grønland, and Vaterland in the east will be affected. The zones are scheduled to be in place in 2023, newspaper Aftenposten writes.

Stavanger and Trondheim are also interested in zero-emission zones.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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