Easier to apply for motorized traffic in Norway

About 95 per cent of Norway’s land is defined as outfields. In 2018, a total of 15300 applications for motorized traffic in outlying areas were processed by municipalities, most of whom were granted exemptions, according to figures from Statistics Norway. The application process has so far been time-consuming for both applicants and the municipality, but now a digital solution is finally available that contributes to simplification for all parties. 

– We have a team in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that has developed a digital application and case handling service for motorized traffic in the outfield of Norway in collaboration with the municipality of Nordreisa, says CEO of Digital Medarbeider Aleksander Øines. – Digital maps, overview of landowners and your own properties are integrated into our solution, unlike the solutions that exist today where you have to attach maps and search for landowners, says Øines.

Nordreisa municipality has large areas defined as outfields and their residents have tested the digital solution where they can apply for all motorized traffic, such as ATVs, seaplanes and snowmobile driving.

– We receive about 100 applications for exemption every year, says Fredrik Lehn-Pedersen in Nordreisa municipality. – Today’s application solution involves a lot of manual work, and a lot of time is spent on advising applicants as it is a complicated process with large documentation requirements. Applications must also be renewed at regular intervals. The new solution will more than halve the case processing time, especially as it has an integrated mapping solution where you can find open routes as well as it is linked to the land where those landowners which must give permission, also appear.

Lom municipality and Jotunheimen national park have together carried out a project that looks at simplification of the land management with the user in focus. Among other things, the project pointed to the need for a common portal for applications.

– We hope more municipalities will use the solution so that it will eventually become a national service that ensures equal treatment and standardization for all applications, says Lehn-Pedersen.

The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) has calculated that 40,000 new employees will be needed by 2028 if the municipalities are to offer the same level of services over the next ten years.

– Everyone understands that it is unrealistic, both because the municipal budgets are getting tighter and because they do not have enough people to fill the positions in the rural municipalities, says Øines. Therefore, many municipalities realize that they have to do things differently. The municipalities we meet want simplification and that the services are digitized to the best of users and to reduce case processing.