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Norway worst at public transport in Europe

Norwegians are tied with the Portuguese for the lowest use of public transport in Europe according to a report from Statistics Norway released on Tuesday.

Norway worst at public transport in Europe
An Oslo trolley. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix
Among the 20 European countries included in the statistics, Hungary scored the highest in terms of the usage of public transport. Hungarians’ use of collective transport accounts for 35 percent of all personal journeys. In Norway, the use of public transport amounts to just 11 percent of all personal journeys.
 
With Norway tied with Portugal at the bottom of public transport use, it should then come as no surprise that Norwegians are near the very top when it comes to the use of private vehicles. 
 
The average Norwegian drives 33 kilometres in their car every day. That’s behind only the French, who put in a daily average of 34 kilometres behind the wheel. 
 
Romania leads the statistical comparison with its residents driving just 12 kilometres per day in their private vehicles. 
 
The Statistics Norway comparison found that the use of public transport has declined sharply in several countries since 2000. 
 
The use of passenger cars, on the other hand, has increased dramatically. In Norway, the past 50 years have seen a six-fold increase in private vehicle traffic. In 1965, passenger car traffic in Norway totaled 10 billion kilometres. A half century later, the total annual travel length by passenger car had exploded to 62 billion passenger kilometres. 
 
Over that same 1965 to 2015 time period, air travel within Norway has also increased 15 times over. 
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READER INSIGHTS

‘Need more bike lanes’: What it’s like to cycle in Norway

Cycling is an environmentally friendly way to get around and keep fit. But, what's it like to get in the saddle in Norway? Here's what The Local's readers had to say. 

'Need more bike lanes': What it's like to cycle in Norway

When many think of a Scandinavian city, they can’t help but think of a clean, modern environment where everyone gets around on bikes in all weather. 

This reputation is primarily due to Norway’s neighbour, Denmark. So what’s it like getting around on Norwegian roads on a bike? Is it a complete nightmare, or can it go toe-to-toe with the cyclist’s haven of Copenhagen? 

According to The Local’s readers, it stacks up pretty well. In a recent survey, we ran, 75 percent of those who responded said that Norway was a safe country to cycle in. 

Our results contrast with a recent survey reported in the newspaper Aftenposten, where less than a third said they thought that Oslo was a safe city to cycle. 

In addition to thinking it was safe, our readers also said that they believed Norway was a good country for cyclists in general, with more than three-quarters of those who got in touch saying they thought it was a great country to bike in. 

“I cycle to work every day across Oslo and go out for longer tours at the weekend. Drivers are usually pretty considerate. The only real issue I’ve noticed is that people really don’t use their indicators much here. Compared to cycling in London though it’s wonderful here, the cycle lane infrastructure is fantastic,” Simon, who has lived in Oslo for five years, said. 

Another Oslo resident said that the capital was good but still didn’t quite match up to Denmark yet.

“Oslo, where I live now, is becoming a lot better. I have lived in the UK, which was similar, France where I did not bike, and Denmark, which was great,” Anne Kristine, who has lived in Oslo for 12 years, but hails from Trondheim, said.

Pat, who lives in West Yorkshire but spent a month in Norway on a cycling holiday, praised Norway’s drivers. 

“The Norwegian drivers are incredibly polite and respectful of cyclists,” Pat said.

READ ALSO: What do foreigners think of the Norwegian healthcare system?

However, not everyone was impressed with the drivers. 

“Frequent overtaking on blind bends on country roads (is an issue),” Anthony, who lives in Rogaland, wrote. 

Similarly, in a recent survey of cyclists in Norway by Trygg Trafikk and Tryg Forsikring, one of the most common issues reported was drivers not paying enough attention. 

The biggest complaint about cycling in Norway among The Local’s readers was the lack of cycle paths. 

“There are not enough bikeway paths in Norway. It can become dangerous for the cyclists, especially with fast drivers going over the speed limit and also large lastebiler (freight trucks),” Joanie, who lives in Buskerud, but is originally from California, said. 

One reader from Berlin also had an issue with the lack of dedicated cycle lanes in Norway. 

“Not enough dedicated cycling lanes. Especially dangerous on roads shared with a tram,” the reader, who didn’t leave their name, said when asked about their experience of cycling in Norway. 

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