Norway minister launches epic road trip
Norwegian transport minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen on Tuesday set off on a 2,000km road trip across Norway in a political stunt ostensibly designed to help him better understand the condition of the nation's roads.
"We get so many complaints from truck drivers and residents across Norway, saying that stretches of road are not good enough," Solvik Olsen, a politician for the populist Progress Party, told the NTB newswire as he set off from Oslo on Monday. "Now it's summer, so we can devote a bit of time to travelling the whole distance at once."
Progress made the removal of Norway's many expensive road tolls one of its key campaign promises, but has so far failed to successfully have many removed, making Solvik-Olsen's trip an important statement of intent.
Solvik Olsen will start with a long drive from Oslo to Bodø, a distance which should take 16 hours to drive, according to Google Maps. He then plans to fly home for a break, returning in July to drive from Bodø to Kirkenes, a much more challenging journey, which will take him at least 18 hours if he sticks to Norwegian roads.
Along the way, he will be accompanied by Carl Hagen, the former leader of the Progress Party who is now deputy head of Oslo city's transport committee.
Hagen said he would use the trip to lobby for the removal of some of Oslo's toll booths, among other projects