Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen from the anti-road-toll Progress Party would need to approve a proposed spike in road tolls sought by city governments in Bergen and Oslo. That hasn’t happened yet, and Solvik-Olsen has opposed punitive tolls in the past.
He was traveling in the US and unavailable for comment late last week, when city officials in Oslo announced their latest plan to combat use of private automobiles. As warned earlier, they want to raise tolls to five times their current level in order to bring down air pollution levels on smoggy days.
“We hope it won’t be necessary to implement such an acute measure,” Lan Marie Ngyuen Berg of the Greens Party (MDG), who leads Oslo’s environmental and transport department, told news bureau NTB, “but when we know that 185 people die too early because of air pollution every year, we must have a possibility to protect the health of the city’s residents.”
The high tolls of more than NOK 150 (USD 18.50) to drive into the city would apply to both gasoline- and diesel-driven vehicles. There’s also a move afoot to close parking lots and ban the use of diesel-driven cars.