December 1, 2022

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Ras Vaksdal

Politmeister, hospital director and Heimvern president E16 – NRK Westland against government cuts

– Particularly serious is the lack of long-term road improvement plans.

This is what Eindt Hansen, managing director of Hels Bergen, says.

Chief of Police Gary Sangstad in the Western Police District and Christopher Th. Home Guard District Manager Knutsen meets NRK to stand for a united front for a better main road between East and West.

This road has been prone to landslides and accidents in the past Voted “Norway’s worst road” by NRK’s ​​viewers.

A ton: Last autumn, a tonne of rock hit the E16 near Polstadoiry.

Photo: Emil Solbakken / Norwegian Road Administration

A plan to improve both road and railway is ready. But the government put brakes on the state budget for 2022.

– We see the need for that road to be significantly improved. It simply depends on the readiness in western Norway, says Knudsen.

The three sit together on an emergency council for the district. They met last week. E16 had a theme.

Risk of closure and collapse

Even if the road exists today, it’s a safety hazard, Songstad believes.

– We have challenges now. There is a lot of maintenance and closures due to flooding and landslides. From a preparedness perspective, it is important to show that something needs to be done about this road.

The latest was last weekend The E16 between Bergen and Voss is closed.

– Make sure E16 is open as often and as much as possible. This is important for all emergency services and for us in health, says Eivind Hansen.

Although there are hospitals on both sides of the road, he believes it is absolutely necessary to move patients between the hospitals in Bergen and Voss.

– We already see emergency vehicles frequently braking or stopping on this road. That’s worrying, says Hansen, who also worries about accidents and landslides on the road.

The Arna-Stanghelle joint project will be Norway's largest tunnel project.  Photo: Red Ant/Swedish Road Administration

Parallel: Road and rail often run side-by-side in the mountains through Waksdal.

Description: Red Ant / Norwegian Road Administration

Political debate

Leaders in public organizations are not afraid to be seen as politicians, even if they now go against the government’s proposal for the state budget.

– Politicians need to set their priorities. But our job as emergency response actors is to point out what the problem is with emergency response, says Hansen.

Hells Bergen vaccinates employees against the corona virus.

Health Director: Eindt Hansen at Health Bergen believes the road needs to be improved.

Photo: Marit Hommel / NTP

Police chief Sangstad is not afraid of freedom.

– We are forced to think as a whole and point out that the construction of new roads east of Bergen is complicated for emergency preparedness.

– But aren’t you afraid of the police as a political actor?

– Most importantly, we as emergency responders are allowed to have a voice in this. Songstad says we should be allowed to say what we think are challenges from a professional perspective.

Actors on the county preparedness team will be releasing a joint report addressing the situation on the main road east of Bergen.

    Police Chief Kare Songstad told reporters.

Chief of Police: Kare Sangstad in the Western Police District discussed the E16.

Photo: Marit Hommel / NTP

– The most important thing now is to reduce interest rates

Following criticism from Health Bergen, the Home Guard and the police, NRK has asked Transport Minister Jan-Iver Nygaard (AP) for a new opinion, but has not yet received a response.

When several transport cuts were tabled in the state budget, he told NRK:

– For those who are disappointed, I say understand. But I believe most people understand that it is important for us to take care of our finances. There is war and an energy crisis in Europe. The most important thing now is to deliver a budget that will help lower interest rates and curb inflation, Nygaard said.

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