More Norwegian state roads have poor surfaces

The total expenditures of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration increased in 2008. Increased investments made up the largest part of the growth in expenditures. The need for maintenance on existing state roads grew in the same period.

The total expenditures of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration were NOK 23.2 billion in 2008; an increase of almost 10 per cent from 2007. Investments such as buying construction services made up the largest part of the growth in expenditures, and increased by more than 11 per cent from 2007 to 2008. The average increase in road construction costs was about 8 per cent in the same period, according to the construction cost index for road construction compiled by Statistics Norway. Taking this into account, the real increase in the investments of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration was about 3 per cent from 2007 to 2008. Since road construction is usually carried out over several years, the physical outcome of the increased level of investment only becomes visible in the statistics in subsequent years.

The investment share of the expenditures of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has grown in recent years. In 2008, the investments made up about half of the total expenditures. The own production of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, which mainly consists of compensation of employees and purchase of other goods and services, made up slightly more than 40 per cent of the total expenditures. Contracting expenses for operating and maintenance services on state roads are included in the own production. The rest of the expenditures of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration consisted of transfers, such as purchasing ferry services for the network of state roads.

Changes in the network of state roads

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration opened 128 kilometres of state roads for traffic in 2008; a small decline from 136 kilometres in 2007. A total of 44 kilometres of the new state roads in 2008 were four-lane roads; 6 kilometres more than the previous year. There were more than 27 000 kilometres of state roads in Norway in 2008. According to measurements done by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the total share of state roads with poor or very poor road surfaces increased from 38 per cent in 2007 to 42 per cent in 2008.

The share of tunnels on state roads with height restrictions of 4 metres or lower was reduced in 2008 compared to 2007. A total of six kilometres of central barriers were built on two and three-lane state roads in 2008; a decrease from 22 kilometres of central barriers in 2007. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration improved 17 road spots exposed to slides in 2008.

Nine out of ten used safety belts

Road safety is one of the main targets of the input to public roads administration. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration carried out 534 000 safety belt inspections in 2008, about 100 000 fewer than in 2007. The inspections revealed that 88 per cent of the people inspected within built-up areas used safety belts, while the share of people who used safety belts outside built-up areas was 94 per cent. The level of safety belt use was about the same as in previous years.

Almost 1 100 people were killed or severely injured in road traffic accidents in Norway in both 2007 and 2008. The number of people killed in road traffic accidents rose from 233 persons to 255 persons in the same period. The number of moose, red deer, wild reindeer and roe deer killed by motor cars increased from about 5 500 in the season 2006/2007 to about 6 000 in the season 2007/2008.

Reduced emissions from road traffic

The emissions to air from road traffic were reduced from 2007 to 2008, according to the Norwegian emission inventory estimated by Statistics Norway in cooperation with the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency. The emissions of nitrogen oxides were reduced by 2 300 tonnes in this period, while the emissions of greenhouse gases were reduced by 140 000 tonnes measured in CO2 equivalents. The reductions can partly be explained by lower activity at the end of the year as a result of the turbulence in the financial market, but is also due to more energy efficient vehicles and an ongoing transition from petrol to diesel or petrol mixed with biofuel.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is responsible for the environmental effects of planning, constructing and operating state roads. Estimates by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration indicate that about 12 700 residents lived in areas exposed to daily mean concentration levels of dust from state road traffic, exceeding national goals in 2008. At the same time, about 8 600 people were exposed to indoor noise levels from state road traffic of more than 40 dB.

615 decares of farmland converted to transport use

Road construction has limited impact on area use in Norway. A total of 615 decares of farmland was converted to transport use due to state road construction in 2008. This is only a small share of the total reduction of 70 000 decares of fully cultivated land from 2007 to 2008, according to the agricultural area statistics compiled by Statistics Norway. A total of 41 national heritage sites were lost or reduced in value because of state road construction, while encroachments were made in 160 decares of land in or close to national reserves.

StatRes – State resource use and results

The purpose of StatRes is to show the level of resources used by the central government, what this input provides in terms of activities and services in the various government activities, and what outcomes can be seen from the input. The aim is to provide the general public and the authorities with more knowledge of state-run activities.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration in StatRes

The set of indicators for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration is currently being developed and will be expanded in the next years. The indicators for resource input are especially developed by Statistics Norway for use in StatRes, and may in some cases differ from similar figures presented in other accounting reports for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (see About the statistics). The Norwegian Public Roads Administration also manages funds for county roads on behalf of the county authorities. The number of man-years in the statistics reflects the work carried out by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration on both state and county roads. Figures for 2009 will be published in the 4th quarter of 2010.

Road investments in StatRes

The investment figures in StatRes includes the contracting costs of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration for state road investments, which mainly consist of payments to contractors and other suppliers of construction and building services. In StatRes, wages paid to the employees of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration who plan and implement the road construction projects are included in the own production of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. This also applies to the purchase of goods and services, such as consulting services, travel, computer equipment, stationary and such like, as carried out by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in connection with the road construction projects.

Source:  Statistics Norway

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