Last week, Norway announced an 8 billion Kroner investment into a network of ‘superhighways’ solely for bikes. This equates to nearly USD $1 billion or GBP £700m.
Reports claim the planned infrastructure includes ten double-bike roadways surrounding Norway’s largest metropolitan areas.
The Norwegian government aims for a 20 per cent increase in the annual number of bike journeys made by 2030. Eventually, the country’s total transport-related CO2 emissions will be reduced by half. This is one of many climate change initiatives the government engages in.
The move has been met with some resistance however. Opposition groups claim that the investment is unjustified when considering that Norway’s roads are, for most of the year, covered in ice. The landscape is primarily mountainous, which makes this kind of travel difficult, and explains Norway’s current low number of regular cyclists.
The government presses on with these plans despite opposition. The recent global downturn of crude oil has hurt Norway’s fossil-fuel industry and damaged the economy. International investments have plummeted due to the limited sources of their revenue. Norway’s investment in carbon neutral transport infrastructure is one of the country’s initiatives to circumvent this, as well as slow the effects of global warming.