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Oslo joins Paris in push for vehicle-free city centres

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 21 October 2015

JUST weeks after Paris banned cars from its urban centre for a day, the Norwegian capital of Oslo is now saying that its own centre will be permanently car-free by 2019.

Announced by the city council on Monday, Oslo’s plan would permanently eliminate cars from the city centre within the next four years.

Some 90,000 people work in the area, but the city council — a newly-elected leftist coalition, predictably, has promised that car transportation will be replaced with more than 60 kilometres of new bicycle lanes and a massive expansion in public transportation services.

Buses, cars for disabled people, and vehicles bringing store inventory will still be allowed, reports Reuters. Oslo’s 350,000 personal cars, though, will have to stay out.

Oslo’s municipal authorities hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in five years to 50% of what they were back in 1990.

By 2019, it also aims to cut automobile traffic across the entire city — not just the city centre — to 20 percent, despite concerns by city centre retailers on the impact on business and the economy.

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