Underside | | Ministry of Transport and Communications
The Government will make active use of investment policy in developing an efficient system of transport which also contributes to reducing the environmental nuisances associated with transport.
Because of the differences between them in their populations and environmental and capacity problems, different solutions must be worked out for the towns and the rest of the country.
The cost-benefit analyses included in impact assessments will be important when priorities are established among investments in the transport sector. As a basis for the preparation of the national rail, air and road and road traffic plans (NJP, NLP and NVVP respectively), cost-benefit analyses will be carried out, as far as possible ensuring methodical comparability. Taking the different characteristics of the modes of transport and the needs of transport users as its point of departure, the Government will base its investment policy on overall assessments.
In the respective transport fields, the Government will emphasise the following:
- Heavy investment is still needed in the road network, to improve the flow of traffic and eliminate bottlenecks, among other things so as to reduce tailbacks. Maintaining investments in road networks (by-passes, the direction of traffic away from certain areas, tunnels and split-level junctions, measures to boost public transport, etc.) is one important way of tackling environmental problems, especially in urban areas. The planning of further trunk road construction should be based on a standard which takes the volume of traffic into account and has special regard for the natural and cultural environment. Roadworks will be weighed against alternative instruments like improving public transport facilities or introducing various forms of restrictions, fees and so on. The possibility will be kept open of finding alternative uses for national road funds in infrastructure measures for the benefit of public transport.
- Where traffic is heavy, railways offer environmental advantages. The Government will accordingly promote the railways in areas where they are of special importance to traffic and the environment, among other things by giving priority to suitable rolling stock and by improving the existing railway network and its efficiency. Rail travel will be further developed by means of concentrated efforts to improve the present facilities, especially in local and Inter-City traffic and in parts of the freight market. The Government will also review existing railway facilities with a view to making the railways more competitive. Even an extensive increase in rail services would have little impact for instance on the volume of road transport. Generally speaking, therefore, the environmental problems which road traffic gives rise to can not be solved by investing in the railways.
- The Government assumes that the existing network of national airports will be maintained. Preparations are being made for negotiations with the owners of 26 non-state airports with a view to their acquisition by the state, in accordance with the treatment by the Storting of Report no. 15 (1994-95) to the Storting concerning central government involvement in regional air transport. In its investment policy, the Government will meet airport network requirements with regard to safety, capacity, and regularity of schedules, and improve technical/operational standards as indicated by international agreements and technological advances. The capacity of passenger premises at airports will be expanded to meet the needs anticipated in traffic forecasts and embodied in standard space requirements. Transport standards will be considered in an overall perspective, with a view to reducing the public use of resources and making the division of labour between different airports and different transport modes as rational as possible.
- The Government envisages the further development of shipping leads and efficient ports for unloading and handling cargoes and reloading them onto other means of transport. The Government will also seek good coordination between municipal, national and private port facilities and wherever natural encourage cooperation on ports between municipalities. The Government will initiate a project aimed at prioritising certain important ports as a step towards developing central transport corridors in and out of the country. This will be of great importance to the future development of sea transport.
- The Government will provide good links between major ports and terminals and the land-based transport network. Good links to terminals will be given priority in sector plans.