When a progressive political alliance took power over Oslo’s city council in October 2015, they had made one of their first priorities a greener environment. 39% of the city’s CO2 emissions comes from private cars, so the council decided to ban cars from the city centre (despite having a large amount of electric cars).
Businesses weren’t happy though, and the council pulled back, but now the plan is to ban parking, thus reducing cars that way (not sure how this would go down in the UK where drivers seem to park where they like, I’ve even seen it on cycle lanes!)
The timeline now sees the second and third stage of this ambitious project cited for 2018 and 2019.
Liv Jorun Andenes, an information officer for the City of Oslo bicycle office, says, ‘The bicycle still hasn’t become a natural part of life for people here. A lot of people regard it as a seasonal thing when the sun is shining … But it is starting to change.’
For those put off by Oslo’s hills, the council released 5 million Norwegian krone (£465,000) to help citizens purchase electic bikes. This year, they’re targeting families with another money pot for cargo bikes.
Bicycles will also replace delivery vans in a new pilot project: starting this month, a container in the Aker Brygge neighbourhood will function as a micro-terminal for freight transport – the first of its kind in Norway. Goods will be dropped at the terminal, and distributed throughout the city by electric bicycle. The plan is a collaboration between the public roads administration, Oslo municipality and DHL.