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FRP wants to cut 100 billion in tolls – and get the excavators back on diesel

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FRP leader Sylvi Listhaug will spend 200 billion more than the government in the National Transport Plan (NTP). Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB

Of NTB | 31.05.2024 06:03:11

Policy: – We want to continue where we left off, says Frp leader Sylvi Listhaug to NTB.

By 12 June at the latest, the Storting’s transport and communications committee must present its recommendation to the government’s proposal for the National Transport Plan. For the Progress Party, it is one of the spring’s most important issues.

While the party was in government from 2013 to 2020, a large number of transport projects were initiated in Norway – and large sums of money were spent. In its alternative National Transport Plan (NTP), the Progress Party is following the same path again – and spending NOK 200 billion more than the government’s NOK 1,308 billion. The money goes to both road and rail.

– We believe it is wrong to build too little, instead of building for the future, says Listhaug.

Nye Veier will also be allowed into the railway sector, if the party gets their way. Listhaug refers to the National Audit Office’s criticism of Bane Nor in Thursday’s report on the extent of delays and cancellations on the railway.

– Therefore, we believe it is important that there is also more competition in this area. It has been very successful along the way, says the Frp leader.

– You have to let go of more forces, new eyes, and new costs. It has had a very good effect on road, and will have a good effect on rail. Competition is always good.

The party also promises to scrap several city growth agreements and city packages, as well as cut a total of NOK 100 billion in planned tolls.

– We have shown that just by introducing New Roads we have got much more bang for our buck. Where it is arranged for that, it is fine. But it is wrong to set requirements that only make it more expensive to build. We must stop wasting money, and operate as efficiently as possible.

The party places a lot of emphasis on the trunk road sections, but Listhaug believes that priority must also be given to the districts. The maintenance of the county roads gets an extra NOK 12 billion in the party’s plan.

– It is, after all, where a lot of value creation takes place, and a lot of goods go on the market. Then we must have safe and good roads there too. We are investing in road construction throughout the country, she says.

Not least, the party will include several of the projects that the government prioritized out of the plan for Norwegian transport development for 2025-2036, including the Ringeriksbanen. More roads and railways are to be upgraded so that Norway can become a transit country for NATO to Sweden and Finland, through a so-called “preparedness portfolio” of 40 billion. And where the government wants two- and three-lane roads, the FRP mostly wants four lanes.

She speaks warmly of one of the child’s darlings from her time in government: the company Nye Veier, which they established in 2015 to take over the construction and operation of some sections from the Norwegian Road Administration. The FRP will give the company large new sums to be able to develop more sections, as they believe Nye Veier can do this cheaper and more efficiently than the Swedish Road Administration.

Listhaug believes that there is no money missing in order to do something about the maintenance backlog.

– We want to rationalize operations and work smarter. The climate requirements, which are only symbolic politics and which make it more expensive to build out, must be stopped. In some places, there are excavators and drills and they run with diesel generators, because you have to have emission-free solutions. We have to take action on that.

(© NTB)

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