Mayor harassed, ministers shocked

Norwegian leaders right up to the prime minister’s office were shocked to hear this week about how opponents of road tolls (bompenger) in the Stavanger area have harassed a local mayor and her family. Now the government mnister in charge of local governments is calling in the leaders of all political parties to address what she […]

Norway shifts to automatic gear

There’s a quiet automobile revolution going on in Norway that will likely make life a lot easier for visitors renting cars who never learned how to drive with a clutch and manually shift gears. More and more new cars are now being sold with automatic, prompting industry experts to predict that manual transmissions will disappear over the […]

Election can affect future of new E18 highway in Oslo

Norway’s national automobile federation NAF, with 500,000 members, was sounding the alarm before Monday’s elections, worrying that too many parties were riding an “environmental populistic wave” that may crash down on plans to widen the heavily trafficked E18 highway west of Oslo. The highway has been overburdened for years, with vehicles crawling at a snail’s pace […]

Main mountain highway’s tunnel set to reopen

The Gudvanga Tunnel on the main E16 highway connecting Oslo and Bergen is expected to reopen to ordinary traffic early next week. It was forced to close, in the height of the tourist season, after a tour bus caught fire in the tunnel earlier this month. The fire caused extensive damage and left five people injured. […]

Reform to put trains ‘on the right track’

Norway’s state rail system is rolling through a tough week: Technical trouble halted service and resulted in major delays on Monday, just after state railway NSB also was confronted once again with its Nazi cooperation during World War II. Then, on Monday afternoon, the state owners of both NSB and railroad Jernbaneverket unveiled reforms that will remove NSB’s monopoly on most train lines […]

Electric cars hang on to tax breaks

Owners of electric vehicles will retain all their tax breaks through 2017, and removal of VAT relief in 2018 will be offset by a purchase incentive. Their rights to drive in the public transport lanes, however, may be locally curtailed while registration fees for gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles will rise. The two government parties (the Conservatives and […]

Traffic nightmare hangs over Oslo

Motorists trying to drive in and through Norway’s capital face months, if not years, of what’s expected to be the worst traffic chaos ever. Ten of the city’s tunnels have been ordered to undergo rehabilitation, at a time when major construction projects are also forcing constant changes in traffic patterns. As if that’s not enough, the city is […]

Center Party blasts productivity moves

Norway’s small, rural-oriented Center Party has, as expected, blasted proposals presented this week that are aimed at boosting productivity. The party’s leader called them “an attack on Norwegian society.” Trygve Slagsvold Vedum claimed that the proposals of a professional commission, appointed by the government to help Norway get more out of its huge public sector investment, would […]

Growth demands ‘political brutality’

It’s time to change the way public sector investments from roads to schools are chosen and managed in Norway, Finance Minister Siv Jensen was told on Tuesday. An expert group led by a professor from Trondheim dashed politics that favour development in outlying areas over cities,  and said the government will need to exert some “political brutality” in […]

‘The New Normal’ can build roads

Commuters may come out the best as Norway’s once-high-flying economy adjusts to what politicians and economists are calling “The New Normal.” That refers to the country’s upcoming period of slower growth, when falling oil prices will force economic diversification. With economists like Øystein Dørum of DNB Markets saying that Norway’s “golden age” is over, Finance Minister Siv […]