– There are only two local elections left before 2030. Bergen will probably have a chance to come back again.
This is what Kjell Werner Johansen, Assistant Director of Transport Economics, says of the Bergen light rail dispute.
He doesn’t think the nearly decade-long debate – about where the light rail should run through the city center – made sense.
“I have some trouble understanding that you can’t decide on a possible alternative,” says Johansen.
Don’t believe in tunnels
The railway and toll specialist believes that studying the tunnel will take a long time, and has little confidence that the prerequisites for a tunnel replacement exist at all.
– Before the study is completed, the cost difference may have increased beyond what is currently assumed. That’s why you might land on a Bryggen alternative, because that’s what’s actually financially achievable, says Johansen.
This is what the two options look like:
The Bergen municipal trade union with Norconsult calculated that the tunnel alternative would cost 2.2 billion more than choosing the road on Bryggen.
It is also indicated that there are greater risks associated with excavation, cultural heritage and groundwater.
Tunnel replacement will result in increased fees. I don’t think this is possible, says Johansen.
Watch the video: – Sharpen, Bergen!
Will it be a cycle?
I fully understand that the Department of Transportation Economics is only looking at aspects of traffic economics in this case. But we see this as a road option for Bergen, and then there should be room to believe that Bergen should be a place for people and not traffic.
This is what the group leader in the conservative Bergen party, Harald Victor Hof, said. The Conservatives were in the lead when a majority in the city council struck down the alternative on Breggen in favor of a tunnel.
– So you’re not worried that Wednesday’s decision might have been the nail in the coffin for the entire light rail project? Because it became expensive?
– No. I’m just nervous about the Transport and Communications Minister saying he’s not promising 70 per cent funding, as Labor promised. Then new negotiations with the state will show whether or not Labor is keeping its promise, says Hof.
When the tunnel replacement was adopted Wednesday afternoon, the city council resigned.
The dispute over the light rail plunged Bergen into a political crisis.
The city council – Labour, MDG KrF and V – together with SV wanted the track over Bryggen. The majority in the city council voted – with just one vote – in favor of the tunnel alternative.
– This is an irresponsible decision, for which we cannot be held responsible. Outgoing city council leader Roger Valhammer (Labour) said the city council is resigning.
Nobody wants to turn around
But the conservative-led opposition is by no means ready to take over the power of the city council.
Therefore, urban rail chaos can be disastrous for the whole of Bergen
Group leader Hof does not want a city council to be formed according to the current political situation, and says he is counting on persuading the Liberal Party and the KrF to form a city council.
The Liberal Party and the PUK, which are completely irrelevant, answer, insisting on the alternative to Bregne.
Bergen is now run as a Department of Business. Mayor Ron Bjervik (Labour) has given the group leaders a deadline of Monday at 11 am.
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