Toll Roads Create Controversy - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Toll Roads Create Controversy

Published April 6, 2010

The idea of setting up toll booths along some of Iceland’s roads has sparked some debate in this country where toll booths are relatively unknown.
Icelandic politicians on both a parliamentary and municipal level have brought up the idea of setting up toll booths in certain places on Route 1, Iceland’s national highway, in the hopes of generating revenue for their upkeep.
Mayor of Selfoss Ragnheiður Hergeirsdóttir told Vísir, “Of course we wouldn’t consider toll booths the most exciting solution, but if they would make the roads safer and help finish construction then it might be that there’s no other way.”
Progressive MP Höskuldur Þórhallsson took a populist stance against the idea, saying in part that, “[With the toll booths] we have nothing more than a special country tax which would apply first and foremost to those who live outside of Reyakjvík and need to do business in the capital,” perhaps unaware that toll booths cover both lanes of the highway, traditionally, and thus those traveling from Reykjavík to the countryside would have to pay as well.
The toll booth just outside the Hvalfjörður tunnel has only been in place for just over ten years. Toll booths are, for many Icelanders, a largely unknown phenomenon.

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