Transport is first and foremost about people – about travelling safely and efficiently together. In a country like Norway, with its extensive coastline, high mountains and long fjords, we need to connect urban and rural areas and the people who live there.
We have always needed to travel and to transport goods and commodities. An efficient, environmental-friendly and safe transport system is one of the most important cornerstones of a modern society, and an important prerequisite for value creation and welfare.
Planning and building infrastructure in Norway is often both difficult and expensive. However, people must be free to live and work where they wish, and our prosperity depends on the value creation that takes place in all parts of the country. That is why we must maintain and develop a transport system that is capable of connecting all parts of the country together. To succeed we must keep up with and encourage technological advances and dare to think differently. At the same time, we have to choose the solutions that give us the highest possible value for the public investments in transport projects.
The Government has given transport high priority. Our investments have led to shorter travel times on both rail and road, more frequent train departures, better traffic safety and positive urban development. At the same time, the transport sector has been modernised through several reforms that have led to more competition, innovation and efficiency. This work is now being followed up by an ambitious and realistic National Transport Plan that is intended to ensure that the most important challenges are addressed in the right order. This will create new opportunities and lead to further modernisation of the sector.
What appears to be the best solution today is not necessarily the best solution in ten years. A new method of managing the transport sector – through portfolio management and continuous optimisation – will therefore be introduced. To avoid making decisions today that prove to be erronous in future, we must not commit to detailed projects at a too early stage. In the National Transport Plan 2022–2033, the Government wants to underline that a project can be adjusted, if necessary, to meet the challenges the project is intended to address. The transport agencies will therefore have more room for maneuver to continuously optimise and further develop projects, to choose the best solutions, and to propose changing the order in which projects are implemented, if new conditions indicate that the priorities need to be changed.
The Government wants to develop all modes of transport further. The plan will contribute to make travelling easier and increase the competitiveness of business and industry. The plan will underpin the global Sustainable Development Goals and Norway’s climate and environmental goals. The overriding objective for the National Transport Plan 2022–2033 is: An efficient, environmental-friendly and safe transport system in 2050.
Knut Arild Hareide (sign.)
Minister of Transport
Figure 0.1 Knut Arild Hareide
Minister of Transport