Two men jailed for attacking railway staff

Dutch papers criticise ABN Amro pay rise chaos

Two men have been jailed for attacking railway staff at Almelo station in December, by judges at Overijssel district court.One man, aged 30, was jailed for nine months for attacking a conductor and a train driver. The other, aged 20, was jailed for four months. Both were ordered to pay compensation to their victims.The two men, from Rijssen and Schiedam, had been annoying a girl Rijssen station and on the train to Almelo. The conductor intervened and was later attacked by the two men when the train reached its destination. The driver who came to help his colleague was also punched and dragged along the platform.Other travelers who witnessed the attack ran off.[banner]Some 150 drivers and conductors had attended the original hearing on March 18 to support their colleagues.  They also called for tougher sentences for people who attack NS staff.  More >

MPs call for tourist transport card

The Netherlands needs a tourist transport and attraction card: MPs The Netherlands needs to develop a special smart card for tourists which can be used on all public transport systems and entitles them to a discount at tourist attractions, MPs will tell ministers on Wednesday.Parliament is set to debate the 'hospitality economy' later in the day and a special tourist card would be a key element in making the Netherlands more tourism-friendly, news agency ANP quotes MPs as saying.'The current system gives rise to a great deal of stress,' VVD parliamentarian Erik Ziengs said.[banner]One good example to follow is the London Oyster card, Ziengs says. 'You can use it on the metro, the bus and the train,' he points out. 'But a Chinese or British tourist in the Netherlands does not want to worry about how and where he should buy all the tickets he needs.''Tourists want to get the most out of their visit and travel from Amsterdam to Maastricht without any fuss and with a visit to Giethoorn if they feel like it.'SupportCompanies operating in the tourist sector have welcomed the suggestion. Around one-third of the 14 million tourists who came to the Netherlands last year relied on public transport as their main way of getting around, says the tourism board NBTC.'We know that tourists don't understand the variety in tickets, that the provision of information is inadequate and that there are limited payment methods,' spokeswoman Therese Ariaans said.The NBTC is calling for the introduction of a national transport ticket for foreign tourists which covers all public transport services for a fixed price.  More >

Dog mess no longer Amsterdam's top issue

Dutch papers criticise ABN Amro pay rise chaos The shortage of parking places has overtaken dog mess as the biggest problem in Amsterdam, according to new city council research.In 1985, almost seven in 10 people said dog excrement was the major issue, but 30 years on, dog mess has fallen to third place. The shortage of places to park a car is top of the 2015 list, followed by people who drive too fast.Dog owners have got over their embarrassment about carrying plastic bags to clean up after their pets, city sociologist Leon Deben told the Parool.Social control has also increased. 'If your dog crouches down, there is always someone who will make a comment ,' Deben said.[banner]Dog mess is still a major issue in Amsterdam Noord and irritates more people than the city's average in parts of West, the research shows.Other major irritants cited in the survey include aggressive behaviour in traffic, youths hanging around and noisy neighbours.  More >

Traffic jams up 56% in 2015 first quarter

Dutch papers criticise ABN Amro pay rise chaos After years of decline, jams on the Dutch roads increased in length and duration over the first three months of this year, says motoring organisation ANWB.Traffic congestion (the length of the jam multiplied by the time delay) was up 56% compared with the same period in 2014, the ANWB says.However, traffic congestion has not returned to pre-crisis levels and the flow of vehicles has been improved by road expansion programmes, the ANWB says.[banner]Nevertheless, more people are commuting to work by car and there are more lorries on the road because of the economic improvement.In particular, drivers around Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Utrecht had to deal with more problems on the roads. Amsterdam and Utrecht were difficult in the morning rush hour. Rotterdam and Amersfoort were evening rush hour black spots.Monday and Tuesday morning rush hours are the busiest periods on the roads.  More >

Doctor struck off for molesting patient

Dutch papers criticise ABN Amro pay rise chaos The Dutch medical complaints council has struck off a family doctor in The Hague for molesting a patient, making false statements, misleading a patient and other inappropriate behaviour.The doctor, who has not been named, has been removed from the BIG register of medical professionals, which means he is no longer allowed to practice as a doctor in the Netherlands.The complaint to the medical council was brought by a 25-year-old woman, described as 'young and psychologically vulnerable'.[banner]A regional medical complaints council first ordered the doctor to be struck off for six months but both the woman and health ministry inspectors appealed against that decision, news agency ANP says.Inspectors said the doctor was untrustworthy and had failed to comply with the standards expected of a doctor for a longer period.  More >