– The cycle path from Arna to Midtun is good for Bergen

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What is most important? A steam train that appears a few times a year, or us humans who can use the route every day?

The railway through Arna was originally the train route between Bergen and Voss. The picture shows a walk in Indre Arna. Photo: Private
  • Ingrid Koksvik and Petter L. Espeland

    Teachers at Arna vgs.

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Less than 20 minutes ago

Debate

This is a debate post. The entry was written by an external contributor, and quality assured by BT’s debate department. Opinions and analyzes are the writer’s own.

Between Midtun and There is a disused railway line running through Garnes, which lies fallow most days of the year. It is a great route that goes through a varied and idyllic area with forests, fields, rivers and residential areas.

Along the route there are also cultural monuments that could be more accessible, and in addition bridges, crossings and railway history linked to the route itself that could emerge today. The beautiful route could be of benefit and joy to many, had it not been for a veteran train…

This coal-powered train is available to a paying public a few days, mainly in the summer. For most of the year, there is therefore no activity on a central stretch that could have been of great use.

The steam train is still enough to paralyze many a politician, and thus no one will take the urgent initiative needed to put in place a potentially efficient and scenic cycle route.

As it is now, cyclists have to trudge along the main roads, and the stretch of road at Grimesvingane in particular is scary. Here, motorists must be extra vigilant for soft road users, who slow down traffic. Dangerous situations can easily arise.

Cycle path in Grimen Today, many cyclists have to resort to the motorway through Grimesvingene to cycle between Arna and Nesttun. VIDEO: Bjørn Erik Larsen

I’m working on Arna secondary school, which is one of several schools in Garnes, half an hour’s walk from the train station and Øyrane centre. The road out here is narrow in many places and there are no cycle lanes.

At the same time, the old railway line runs between these destinations, and those who might succumb to the temptation to stroll along the line are in the risk zone.

It may appear that politicians see a change as difficult because this route has now been set aside for the aforementioned museum train, and thus it requires bureaucratic work in advance to bring about changes.

Then some of them – to the extent they want it – would rather lay the footpath and cycle path along parts of the main road, which are characterized by ups and downs, and with the risk of unnecessary use of resources, demolition and expropriation.

Ingrid Koksvik and Petter L. Espeland are both teachers at Arna primary school. They want a cycle path from Garnes in Arna to Midtun.
Ingrid Koksvik and Petter L. Espeland are both teachers at Arna primary school. They want a cycle path from Garnes in Arna to Midtun. Photo: Private

I have understanding because the railway line and the train have cultural-historical value, and that there is a certain tourism linked to the existing concept. Both the train with its distinctive interior, the buildings and the route will in any case be able to be preserved, even if the sleepers were to be replaced by a more practical surface.

In any case, we must dare to grasp a clear prioritization that tells us what is most important from a fossil-based steam train that appears a few times a year, and us humans who can use the line every day. The daily life of those who live and work in Arna must be given higher priority, but unfortunately this does not happen by itself.

Veteranjernbanen uses the train line every Sunday and some Saturdays between June and September.
Veteranjernbanen uses the train line every Sunday and some Saturdays between June and September. Photo: Tuva Åserud (archive)

If we look at the whole thing in a larger perspective, the footpath and cycle path can also be extended to Nesttun and further to the city centre, where some of the old railway line is already in use as a cycle path. It can also continue east, and potentially co-load on the spectacular route from Trengereid and on to Stanghelle.

There are many unclear visions linked to environmental and public health. Here is a concrete proposal: Use the disused railway line for a footpath and cycle path. This will facilitate the conditions so that we can get there safely and efficiently on an even and straight stretch, whether it is to go to work, cycle to school, as a training session or a family trip.

Such a measure will be of benefit and joy to the many who live and go to school in the area – every day, and throughout the whole year. Let the route come into its own!

Should the train line between Garnes and Midtun become a cycle path?

Published:

Published: April 3, 2024 1:53 p.m

Updated: April 3, 2024 2:07 p.m

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: cycle path Arna Midtun good Bergen

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