Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

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Protesters blocked the Ring Road by Hornafjörður fjord in South East Iceland on Sunday

By Staff

  • Blocking the road Residents of the village Höfn and farmers in Hornafjörður fjord blocked the Ring Road at the bridge over Hornafjarðarfljót river on Sunday. Local resident Sæmundur Helgason shared these images of the protests on Facebook. Photo/Sæmundur Helgason.

More than a hundred locals blocked the bridge over Hornafjarðarfljót river in Hornafjörður fjord in South East Iceland on Sunday. This is the third protest action since the government announced that it would not be honoring commitments to invest in road maintenance and new infrastructure made by parliament prior to the October elections. 

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

The protest took place on Sunday afternoon, from five until seven. During this time no traffic passed over the bridge. The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service reports that the protest proceeded peacefully. Members of the local Women's Club served coffee and hot chocolate to the protesters and travellers who's plans were upset by the action. 

A local man, Sæmundur Helgason, shared the following images of the protests on Facebook.

Protesting broken promises, poor roads
The bridge over Hornafjarðarfljót river is a 255 m (836 ft) long single-lane bridge, and is more than 50 years old. Local residents have been demanding that a new bridge be built for several years. 

The transport master plan, which was approved by parliament prior to the 2016 October elections, had promised that gravel roads in East Iceland would be repaired and paved, and single lane bridges along the Ring Road replaced. The two parties which formed the majority in parliament prior to the elections, the conservative Independence Party and the center-right Progress Party ran on these promises in the elections. When the new government, headed by the Independence Party, revealed it's budget for transportation investment all projects in East and South East Iceland had been axed.

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