Ålesund, congestion, bus, cars, cruise, tourists, too many, overtourism, Norway, viewpoint, Aksla
Visit Ålesund

Tourist bus chaos at viewpoint in Norway

Four cruise ships disgorge a flood of tourists heading to an attraction with a small access road.

There was chaos at one of Norway’ most picturesque viewpoints yesterday after four cruise ships released thousands of tourists headed there at the same time.

At one point, 13 buses at the popular Fjellstua scenic spot in Ålesund resulted in such a jam that police had to be called in to clear the blockage.

The viewpoint at the top of the Aksla Mountain has a small access road, and police were required to assist when vehicles could not get in or out, The Local reports.

“A few too many buses came at the same time, so we didn’t manage to pass the first one and it then got crowded. I think I counted 12-13 buses at one time and that’s a lot,” Jan Honningdal, one of the bus drivers told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

12,000 a day
A record 12,000 tourists in a single day were reported earlier this summer to have visited the attraction in Ålesund. It was not immediately clear whether yesterday’s visitor numbers broke that record.

There have been calls for a limit on traffic allowed up to the viewpoint at any one time, adding to a list of attractions in Norway that are suffering from overtourism.

“It was chaotic up here today. There were far too many buses and too many private cars. The bus trips must be spread out better, so that not so many buses are sent up at the same time,” said local traffic director Stig Arild Roald.

Visit Ålesund tourism chief Tom Anker Skrede acknowledged to NRK that tourists in cars and buses were forced to wait too long.

“There was an error in relation to traffic direction today. Too many buses came up the mountain before others left. Once that happens it is difficult to clear things up again. I don’t think this is necessarily a big problem, but it is naturally regrettable that people had to wait.”

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