On Thursday, a new parking rule starts in Bergen. Two other rules are postponed until next year.

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– It is not certain that everyone has got it with them, says parking manager.

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Monica Brudvik (from left) and Monika Haldorsen struggled to find a parking space in Sandviken on Tuesday night. Photo: Paul S. Amundsen

– I am a bit ambivalent that this is being introduced now. On the one hand, we electric motorists will contribute, but at the same time the benefits of driving an electric car will disappear. It is important that we choose to drive environmentally friendly, says Monica Brudvik.

Together with her friend Monika Haldorsen, they have driven from Åsane in Haldorsen’s Kia Soul for a friend’s evening in Sandviken. After a few laps in the narrow streets, they find a vacant spot at Joker in Gjeble Pederssøns gate.

Here they park for free – for the last time.

In December 2019, the city council adopted new parking rules, which were to come into force on 1 April this year. Due to the corona pandemic, the city council chose to postpone the implementation and enforcement of the rules until 1 October.

Two of the parking rules are now being postponed for another six months due to the pandemic.

But one is implemented this week: From Thursday morning at 08, electric motorists must pay for parking on an equal footing with “ordinary” motorists in zones 8 to 29.

From Thursday, electric drivers must also pay for parking in zones 8 to 29. For visitors and others without a parking card, the price is NOK 10 per person. hour. Photo: Paul S. Amundsen

Examples of areas covered by these parking zones are Sandviken, parts of Skansen, Starefossen, Kronstad and Gyldenpris.

Haldorsen agrees with his friend that it is a pity that the electric car goods fall away.

– But maybe it will be easier to find a parking space here when the tax is introduced. It was not easy to find a vacancy today, she says.

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Several parking rules postponed

In the new regulations, which were adopted in December 2019, the following were determined:

  1. Visitors with electric cars in zones 8 to 29 are no longer allowed to park for free. The price will be the same as for other cars, ie 10 kroner per. hour. (For residents in the residential zones, it is still free to park with an electric car in the zone they live in, but the car must be registered with the urban environment agency).
  2. Each housing unit can have a maximum of one parking permit in the residential zone they live in, regardless of whether you have an electric or fossil car.
  3. In residential zones 2 to 7, the scheme for temporary visitor parking in the city center will end. This means that it will no longer be possible to buy visitor parking from a vending machine on Nøstetorget or from the customer center at the urban environment agency.

The purpose of the new rules is to combat “foreign parking”, according to City Councilor for Climate, Environment and Urban Development, Thor Haakon Bakke (MDG).

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Figures from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration show that there are 21,910 electric cars in Bergen. This constitutes 19.3 per cent of the total car fleet of 113,422 cars. Photo: Paul S. Amundsen

The new rules were first postponed from 1 April to 1 October. In March, Bakke said this about the postponement:

“The reason is that it is a state of emergency with a lot of change for the people of Bergen. People have home offices and various challenges in everyday life that they do not usually have. In such a situation, we think it is absolutely right to postpone. ”

Now two of them are again exposed due to the corona situation, says Bakke. This applies to points two and three.

– It’s inconvenient for people with more of changes when we have the corona situation we have. Then we get to make a new assessment in the new year and see how the situation is then, he says.

But electric drivers still have to pay in housing zones 8 to 29, despite the corona situation.

– What has changed since April 1, which makes the rule come into force now?

– The point of residential zones is that people should be able to park near where they live. And it is reasonable that electric drivers pay a fee for standing on public street space. There is still a fairly cheap and accessible parking space.

– Why not postpone until after the bus strike?

– The city council made the decision before the strike. We can not postpone this due to a legal strike, I mean. It is still possible to park, but it costs ten kroner an hour.

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City Councilor for Climate, Environment and Urban Development, Thor Haakon Bakke (MDG). Photo: Bjørn Erik Larsen (archive)

– Will check

The head of the parking department in the urban environment agency, Arvid Heggestad, is betting that the parking guards are ready to enforce the new rules this week.

– We must have the technical equipment corrected. If everything is in order, we will enforce the regulation from Thursday morning.

Normally, parking attendants drive around in cars with cameras that scan all car numbers. If a car has not paid or is incorrectly parked, it flashes red on a screen in the car.

– It is asked if it has been updated on Thursday morning, and will register electric cars that have not paid, Heggestad says.

Only residents with an address in one of the parking zones have received an SMS from the municipality about the new rules.

– The media has written a bit about it, but it is not certain that everyone has got it.

He further says that the municipality also checks who owns the car – because it is not possible to give or sell a parking permit to a friend.

– There are two simple criteria: You must live there, and you must own or dispose of the car.

Håvard Doksæter lives in Sandviken at the Norwegian Teachers’ Academy. – There are many visitors with electric cars who take the seats. It is a win-win for permanent residents with the new rules, he says. Photo: Paul S. Amundsen

Exceptions to the rules

In some cases, however, one and the same housing unit can dispose of two cars.

– There is an exception rule in the regulations: If there are very special conditions, two parking permits can be granted. But then you must have a very good reason, says Heggestad.

– What is a good reason?

– It is a bit difficult to come up with examples. But let’s say it’s a small family living in a house. Mother or father has a company car, which they depend on to do their job, but which is not suitable as a family car – then you are well placed to be able to get a dispensation to have two cars.

– What is the price then?

– Car 2 will cost 50 percent more than the first car, as the rules are today.

In zones 1 to 8, it costs 440 kroner for car 1 per. month, while in the rest of the zones it costs 330 kroner for car 1 per. month.

Car 2 will thus cost 660 kroner or 495 kroner, respectively.

What do you mean? Have your say in the comments section below.

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