High quality infrastructure and efficient and safe transport solutions are prerequisites for good welfare services and for the nation’s competitiveness. Our National Transport Plan meets the challenges and the necessary restructuring the country is facing.
This is also a plan to reduce our climate footprint and to exploit the potential offered by new technologies. We are now in the process of building, maintaining and organising the transport sector in a better way. During the current governmental period there has been a great increase in maintenance. For the first time in years we have stopped the deterioriation of the road and railway systems. The task now is to reduce the backlog and develop our national infrastructure through the most extensive and ambitious National Transport Plan ever presented.
The transport of the future will be fast, efficient, clean and increasingly automated. We need a number of solutions to meet the increased demand for transport from people and industries. We know that opportunities for growth and new workplaces are inexticably linked to the establishment of the best possible transport solutions. Railways, roads, seaports, airports and digital infrastructure are necessary both for urban areas and for the less populated areas. We have to strengthen our infrastructure to make commuting easier, to get our products to the markets and to participate in an everyday life that is becoming increasingly digitalised. We will invest in new – and at the same time take good care of the existing – infrastructure. This Parliamentary period is the first where maintenance has left existing roads and railroads in better condition by the end of the period than at the beginning. This transport plan will continue this effort. This transport plan is also an initiative to improve conditions for soft road users and public transport. A targeted and co-ordinated effort in urban areas will improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and users of public transport. It will be more convenient to choose public transport, and urban air will be cleaner.
The railways will also receive a necessary boost. We will now embark upon the most hectic and ambitious construction period for the railways since the Nordland line with its over 700 km was completed in 1962. Rail transport will be faster and more reliable due to major investments such as InterCity in Eastern Norway, electrification of the Trønder and Meråker lines, new tracks between Bergen and Voss and building of the new Ringerike line, which will also shorten the Bergen line. This will provide more attractive and competitive railway services for both freight and passenger transport. In addition there will be targeted efforts to improve conditions for rail freight.
In the last four years growth in road tolls has been reduced both through closure of a number of toll collection points, an increased state share in projects and reduced tolls in rural areas. This trend is continued in this plan, where tolls will constitute a lower share of total investments.
The National Transport Plan 2018–2029 is aimed towards a Norway with increased mobility, decreased transport costs and reduced emissions. In short: It is a plan to build a better and greener Norway.
Minister of Transport and Communications