Running and cycling events given green light for return to Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge

New minister for transport Benny Engelbrecht wants running and cycling events to return to the Great Belt Bridge and will allow organizers to apply for permits.

Running and cycling events given green light for return to Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge
The Great Belt Bridge. Photo: Jacob Schou Nielsen / Ritzau Scanpix

The Broløbet (Bridge Run) event took place on the bridge every three years from 2005 until 2017, when the Roads Agency (Vejdirektoratet), with the support of then-transport minister Ole Birk Olesen, decided to withdraw permits.

Engelbrecht, who was a critic of that decision at the time, was scheduled to go for a run on the bridge on Friday to mark the possible return of running shoes to the Great Belt Bridge asphalt.

The popular Aarhus-Copenhagen bicycle race, which saw thousands of cyclists crossing the bridge, could potentially also see a return.

“Denmark is a beautiful country, and, like many others, I enjoy seeing and experiencing it from different perspectives. As such, I believe that our major road and bridge connections offer a great opportunity to unite exercise and fitness with a unique experience in our country – we must make the most of this,” Engelbrecht said in a ministry press release.

“It is, however, important that this is done with the minimum possible disruption to traffic,” he added.

Although the nature of any future events is yet to be decided, the second stage of the 2021 Tour de France, which will start in Denmark, will cross the Great Belt Bridge.

The 6.8-kilometre suspension bridge is part of the Great Belt Fixed Link, which connects the islands of Zealand and Funen.

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Car drivers overcharged for crossing Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge

Drivers of small cars may have overpaid in tolls when crossing the Great Belt Bridge. The bridge's toll operator has urged customers to check billing information.

Car drivers overcharged for crossing Denmark's Great Belt Bridge
Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Operating company Sund & Bælt has encouraged customers to get in touch if they have paid too much to cross the bridge, which connects Zealand with Funen.

The problem, first reported by Fyens Stiftstidende, stems from number plate recognition or used of the BroBizz payment tag.

Payment equipment has in some cases incorrectly registered the size of some vehicles using these payment forms.

The issue first began occurring in December following the replacement of parts in the toll booths.

“We started in September and were finished close to a week before Christmas, changing the entire motor in the payment machine,” operations manager Palle Nygaard told Fyens.

“So there have clearly been a few teething problems, and one of those is that we not have classified (vehicles) quite as well as usual,” he added.

The exact number of incorrect classifications was unclear, but “a couple of percent each day out of 35,000 ends up being a fair few”, Nygaard said.

The Sund & Bælt operations manager told DR that “particularly, customers with very small cars have been charged a higher price than they are used to”.

A single journey in a private car of up to 3 metres in length should cost a toll of 130 kroner, while the toll for a car of 3-6 metres’ length is 245 kroner.

Customers who think they may have been overcharged can check the invoices or receipts they receive, for example via email for BroBizz users.

These will show the category for which tolls were charged.

“You should contact customer service (for a refund) if you find you have paid a different amount than you are used to,” Nygaard told DR.

“If you pay by card (at the bridge) and see that the price is wrong, you can press ‘help’ and get the problem fixed,” he added.

The company expects to fix the issue during the first quarter of 2020.

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