The square in the heart of Vågen in Bergen, where Fisketorget and several restaurants are located, has registered 50% fewer pedestrians than usual this summer.
“These are dramatic numbers. Now we at least have facts in place when we discuss the way forward with the local authorities,” Bjørn Hanevik, who owns a number of venues on Torget told the newspaper Bergens Tidende.
Torget and Bryggen were closed to ordinary car traffic on July 3. The traffic was allowed on August 16. The City Council of Bergen decided this spring that Bryggen and Torget would be closed for traffic every summer from next year.
Parts of the closure took place during the joint holiday, with fewer foreign tourists in the city. Nevertheless, Hanevik believes that the data tells a clear story.
“The figures show that the people of Bergen do not make pilgrimages to the city center even though there is much less traffic. When there are fewer people, there are also fewer people using the venues and restaurants,” he said.
Bergen Harbor Group set up a counter on Torget on May 20, and everyone walking in both directions was registered. The figures show that in the last two weeks before closing, an average of 9,000 people walked past Torget daily. After the closure, the number decreased, from 10,361 on Friday, July 2, to 4,757 on Saturday, July 3. The average until the reopening was 4,500 pedestrians daily.
“We want the people of Bergen to have a good place to hang out and be able to enjoy themselves there,” City Development Councilor Thor Haakon Bakke (MDG) told BT when the City Council decided to close Bryggen and Torget for traffic in the summer.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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