Iceland Mag

4 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Residents of Berufjörður fjord, E. Iceland, close down part of Ring Road 1 a second time

By Staff

  • From the Sunday protests Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson, farmer in Berufjörður, the husband of Berglind Häsler, one of the organizers of the protests. Photo/Ólafur Björnsson.

The residents of Berufjörður fjord in East Iceland closed down a part of Ring Road 1 yesterday for two hours to protest poor road conditions and steep cuts to promised investments in new roads and road maintenance by the government. The protesters have pledged to continue their actions.

This is the second time the Ring Road is blocked by protesters in Berufjörður. More similar actions have been announced.

Foreign travellers protested the protests
According to Berglind Häsler, a farmer in Berufjörður, the protesters included people from all over East Iceland, including the town of Egilsstaðir and nearby villages, Djúivogur and Breiðdalsvík. The local community stands by the protesters and supports their actions, she told the local newspaper Fréttablaðið. The local municipal council joined the protesters yesterday, holding a meeting in the middle of a bridge in the fjord.

Some foreign travellers whose plans were upset by the protesters were not as pleased, Berglind admitted: "Of course it's unfortunate that this is affecting them negatively, but that's just the way things are. People protest all around the world, causing all kinds of delays."

Broken promises, dangerous roads

The protesters have demanded that the government stand by promises which were made before the October elections, and a master plan for road investments approved before the elections. The plan included a promise to pave the road through Berufjörður.

Read more: Residents in Berufjörður fjord, E. Iceland, blocked Ring Road to protest poor road conditions

Locals have argued the gravel road is in dangerously poor conditions, with deep potholes which pose a serious safety hazard, as well as causing damages to cars.

More protest actions planned
It is not only in East Iceland that people have protested against poor road conditions and cuts to infrastructure investment. Residents in the Westfjords have also protested. Residents in other parts of East Iceland have also pledged to take action to draw attention to poor road conditions. 

On Sunday a group of residents in Hornafjörður fjord in South East Iceland have announced they will close down the Ring Road by Hornarfjarðarfljót river. The action will take place between 17:00 and 19:00. People who will be on the move in South East Iceland on Sunday are advised to plan their travel accordingly. 

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