Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Norway plans to curb free parking

TRANSPORTATION. The Norwegian government, lead by the Social Democrats, is working on plans to stop all forms of free parking for cars in cities, reports daily Aftenposten in Oslo. The measure is aimed at curbing city-traffic.
Three government departments are working on the proposal, looking at different ways of changing the law. One alternative would be that owners of private parking lots are allowed to keep the parking fees they would have to charge. Another alternative would be that city authorities takes the money and use it to improve public transportation.
If the proposal becomes law, it would mean an end to free parking at shopping malls, offices and public parking lots. The capital Oslo has some 120,000 free parking spaces today, where fees would have to be introduced if the government has its way.
Supporters of the measure hopes that it will not only curb traffic, but also give new life to city street shopping that can be reached by public transportation.
Norway has been a leader in introducing congestion charges for driving in city centres. Oslo introduced its system of congestion charges more than 20 years ago.

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