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BLS: ‘Exclude motorcyclists from Icelandic road tolls’

The Icelandic minister of transport and local government Jón Gunnarsson took time to meet with BLS representatives on March 8th to discuss parliaments plans to implement road tolls in and around the capital city Reykjavík.

The goal of the meeting for BLS (the Icelandic FEMA member organization) was to make the minister aware of the fact the in other Scandinavian countries motorcycles are exempt from most road tolls.

In Norway, Sweden and Finland powered two wheelers are exempt from road tolls for highways, tunnels and bridges and in Denmark powered two wheelers only need to pay on the bridges crossing Øresund and Storebælt.

The logistics of making powered two wheelers pay are also not the same as for cars, as the procedure of stopping, finding your wallet and so forth can be very time consuming for motorcyclists; electronic pass systems can also be difficult to implement for powered two wheelers.

The added cost and logistics of adding a toll for powered two wheelers is therefore not considered to be cost effective and that goes double for a small country like Iceland where powered two wheelers make up only a small part of road users.

As of today there is only one tunnel in Iceland where powered two wheelers must pay, although a fraction of the price for cars, €2. Therefore, powered two wheelers do not play a large role in the annual revenue of the road toll. When big events take place where it is assumed that many powered two wheelers will use the road, they are allowed to pass without payment anyway, so they don’t slow down other traffic.

It is safe to assume that no country wants a situation as in Greece, where a large portion of the roads are owned and operated by private companies. Based on these arguments BLS have called for powered two wheelers to be absolutely exempt from road tolls in Iceland.

In the picture, from left to right: Njáll Gunnlaugsson chairman of BLS, Jón Gunnarsson Icelandic Minister of Transport and Gunnar Sigurjónsson from BLS.