An idea to start charging road tolls in southern Iceland has caused significant debate in recent days.
Stod 2 reported on Wednesday that the government, the Roads Administration and pension funds were discussing the option of imposing road tolls for users of all the main roads in and out of the capital region of Reykjavik.
The tolls on Sudurlandsvegur, Vesturlandsvegur and Reykjanesbraut would be used to fund the widening of Sudurlandsvegur south of Reykjavik towards Hveragerdi and Selfoss. The idea also fits with a current international trend towards road tolls as a measure to fight climate change by reducing unessential traffic.
(Photo: Vesturlandsvegur, from DV.is)
Robert Marshall, Social Democrat MP and member of the parliamentary transport steering group said he is not opposed to the idea in principle. He told Visir.is that people automatically assumed that the tolls would be similar to the Hvalfjordur tunnel when the discussion began; but if a small road toll, something like ISK 100 (USD 0.79) could allow for Sudurlandsvegur to be made into a two-lane highway, he thinks it is worth looking into. Cars currently pay ISK 800 (USD 6.35) to drive through the Hvalfjordur tunnel.