Who is responsible for road network development?

28.03.2018 - 08:36
Who is responsible for road network development?
Landsverk insists that public limited companies should not be allowed to manage the development of the national road network

Development of the country’s road network should be managed by Landsverk (The Faroese Road and Tunnel Authority) and not by public limited companies.

This is Landsverk’s reply to the proposed Bill which authorises public limited company Norðoyatunnilin to administer and finance work on new tunnels Norður um Fjall (Klaksvík-Árnafjørður and Árnafjørður-Norðtoftir).

Who is responsible for road network development? This is a question of principle, according to Landsverk. The authority warns of the dangers of granting a public limited company authority to administer and finance the Norður um Fjall project.

A conflict of interest

According to Landsverk’s CEO, Ewald Kjølbro, a public limited company works primarily to further its own interests, and not necessarily to do what is best for society.

Since Landsverk and Norðoyatunnilin Ltd. have different interests in this context, this is a question of principle.

The proposed Bill regarding tunnels Norður um Fjall states that Landsverk is authorised to approve preparatory and pre-planning work. But this does not per se provide any guarantees, according to Mr Kjølbro.

The Norður um Fjall project is estimated to cost DKK 360 million.

Norðoyatunnilin Ltd. has the financial means to start work on the tunnels immediately. This means that the tunnel project can be started three to four years earlier than projected, according to the proposers of the Bill.

According to the Bill, Norðoyatunnilin Ltd. will be authorised to prepare and pre-plan road and tunnel work Norður um Fjall.

But this is insane, says Kjølbro, because this work was completed seven years ago. Back then it was decided in Parliament that the tunnel to Viðareiði should be built first.

Earlier this month, the transport minister presented a Bill to build a new tunnel between Hvalba and Sandvík for DKK 272 million. Once this project is completed, in late 2021 or early 2022, work can begin on the tunnels Norður um Fjall, according to the Bill.

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