Bus traffic chaos in Oslo area – many central routes cancelled

Bus traffic chaos in Oslo area – many central routes cancelled

On New Year's Day there was heavy traffic and slow moving traffic towards Oslo. Vegtrafiksentralen says people are getting better at slowing down and keeping their distance.

There are long queues towards Oslo after heavy snowfall in the last few hours. Traffic slowly exits Hønefoss.

Short version

Those celebrating New Year's on the mountain faced traffic heading towards Oslo on Monday. Traffic was slow at many places, but no accidents were reported.

– Fortunately! We see many traffic accidents and derailments, but we can't say anything about accidents. People are slowing down, said Barbro Evenson, a traffic operator at the Swedish Transport Center on Monday.

Those past Eadswall met the queue there. And in E16 it stopped frequently.

– There's actually less traffic than usual, with some choosing to start early because, according to Evensen, traffic is heavy throughout the day.

There were some who did not descend from Lake Sjusjon near Lillehammer. It was smooth enough for many people to cross.

– The streetcar is coming, maybe it will be alright, she said.

– In general, people are good at slowing down and keeping a good distance, Evenson said.

Bus 71A crashed into a fence and got stuck near Björndal on Monday.

Bus 71A crashed into a fence and got stuck near Björndal on Monday.

Bus routes canceled – not safe to drive

Traffic on several central bus routes in Oslo was halted on Monday due to security concerns. Several bus routes were reopened after trial runs to assess traffic safety. Several canceled bus routes were operating in Romerick on Monday evening.

View updated information router.no/avvik.

– There are many lines that are completely stopped because it is not safe to drive due to snow and slippery roads. Others may be delayed or partially canceled, Gro Janborg, a reporter at Reuters, said on Monday.

– We rely on plowing before traffic resumes.

Joachim Herdum, manager of plowing in Oslo municipality, told NTB that all plowing crews have been evacuated since Monday night.

– We plow and plow. The light snow and wind means ice forms quickly here and there, and roads become extra smooth and slick, making them slippery, Herdum said.

He added that the Oslo municipality is plowing and salting all the roads that the buses run on.

I think the preparedness is good

– This foggy weather is forecast for several days. With so much snow, Oslo municipality can't keep the roads in good condition anyway?

– In our opinion the preparation and road operations in Oslo are excellent. We start plowing according to the given criteria. We will start plowing once 2 cm of snow falls on the main roads where buses ply. Because of the wind, light snow blows onto the road and creates a glazing effect, Hjertum said Monday.

– We see buses stopping at many well-cultivated places. Now we see that under special weather conditions, there may be challenges.

At the same time, the plow manager said that snow has started falling in many places in the city. This creates challenges in snow removal.

– We will start snow removal tomorrow, and all the snow grinding work has been going on since before the New Year, he said.

5-20 cm of snow has caused chaos

At 17:00 on Monday, 5 to 20 centimeters of snow had fallen in Oslo in the past 24 hours, Bernil Bolander, a meteorologist on duty at the Meteorological Centre, said.

– This is a very densely built area, and nothing is needed before it becomes challenging. “We are seeing the same thing again and again,” said the meteorologist.

In eastern Norway, the snow is expected to end on Tuesday morning.

Buses across Bjørndal – as usual

Sheriff Cook lives in Björndal, south of Oslo, and was on his way to work driving Oslo buses on Monday.

But the terminal at Bjørndal is known to be a dangerous place during the snow and cold. Route 71A Mortensrud slid into a fence this morning and got stuck. No one was injured.

    Traffic manager Cheric Cook in front of one of the many buses stuck in the snow on Monday.

Traffic manager Cheric Cook in front of one of the many buses stuck in the snow on Monday.

At around 12.00, Viking Rescue Service arrived at the scene and the articulated bus was towed out.

– Such accidents are still happening with buses in this area, Cook said.

From the switchboard at Mortensrud, staff at the Nobina switchboard follow the buses. They record delays and accidents and run extra staff and buses.

– Today we have a double team. According to Cook, it goes all at once.

On Monday, messages poured in asking for help and assistance after buses ran into trouble. This applies to Björndal, Hellsfire, Skalleruttumba and Tull/Brenna, among others.

Busy activity at the transport hub in Mortensrud, which directs bus traffic in the Oslo area.  From left: Transport Manager Sheriff Cook, Sardar Azadi and Zafar Atli.

Busy activity at the transport hub in Mortensrud, which directs bus traffic in the Oslo area. From left: Transport Manager Sheriff Cook, Sardar Azadi and Zafar Atli.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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