The council is distributing a leaflet recommending that buses carrying tourists stay outside Ring 1, but tour guides are critical.
Tourist buses in Oslo are being asked to stay outside Ring 1, meaning that visitors to the city will not be able to see key attractions from their buses or drive between them.
The city of Oslo’s Urban Environment Office has released a leaflet called ‘Recommended driving patterns for tourist buses in central Oslo’. Tour guides are critical of the guidelines..
“We are going to have to drive through tunnels. Or will we have to drive up to Ekeberg and view the city from there? We do not feel that Oslo welcomes these tourists,” tour guide Tove Gjersrud tells the business newspaper Finansavisen.
Gjersrud, who is also a candidate for the Conservative Party in the upcoming local elections, says the city council’s demands mean that tourists will not be able to see sites like the Rådhuset, the fortress, the cathedral, the Kvadraturen, Karl Johans gate, the national theatre or the parliament from the comfort and convenience of a bus seat.
The leaflet says it is not recommended to use the streets within Ring 1 due to ongoing road works, suggesting the frequent public transport as an alternative. There is, however, an exception for tourist buses of a few streets behind the Havnelageret, or harbour warehouse.
In an email, city council political advisor Kari-Anne Isaksen responds to Finansavisen that the council wants all tourists in Oslo to be able to move around quickly and easily.
Growth in inbound tourism in recent years suggests that “there is little evidence of annoyance among tourists or that conditions are poorly prepared”.
But she asks that the tourist industry rethink the fact that there is less and less space to move around easily in the city centre.
“It is not certain that large tourist buses will be the most efficient way to transport tourists in the future”, she warns.