Traffic jams cost Dutch companies up to €800m last year, say transport firms

Traffic jams cost Dutch companies up to €800m last year, say transport firms

Traffic jams on Dutch motorways cost companies between €613m and €797m last year, according to a report by the TNO scientific institute for two transport lobby groups. The jams lead to time wasting and extra fuel usage and cause logistics problems, requiring the use of additional vehicles and route planning, the TNO report says. Transport lobby groups TLN and EVO say the A15 motorway between...  More >

'Groningen quakes are a national problem'

Groningen earthquakes are a national problem, says city’s mayor The impact of the earthquakes in Groningen province is similar to the aftermath of the flood disaster of 1953, Groningen’s mayor Ruud Vreeman says in an interview with the AD. The earthquakes in northern parts of the country are an issue for the entire country and national government should be involved in strengthening buildings, Vreeman said. 'I can no longer assume sole responsibility,' he told the paper. 'This has to be dealt with at a national level.' The quakes, caused by the ground settling following natural gas extraction, have recently been felt in the densely populated provincial capital itself. ‘That gives the problem an entirely new dimension,’ Vreeman said. ‘We have hospitals, schools and university buildings. How do we ensure they are all safe?’ Politicians have to understand the problem is about more than a few cracks in a few walls, he said, adding that the official approach would be different if the gas reserves were located close to The Hague or Amsterdam. Risk The...  More >

Government help for cashless villages

Government works with RegioBank to keep ATMs in small Dutch villages The big Dutch high street banks might be closing branches, but the Dutch government and RegioBank are working together to ensure people living in rural areas retain access to cashpoint machines and banking services, news agency ANP says on Monday. Housing minister Stef Block and RegioBank chief executive Hans van den Bor will sign a deal to facilitate rural banking services in the Frisian village of Garyp later on Monday. The bank, part of nationalised SNS Bank, will not get financial support from the state but the government will help with finding financial partners to operate ATMs and counter services. These could be private companies or local authorities, ANP says. Regiobank has 530 branches nationwide, mainly in rural areas. The government has already set up a trial project with the Spar supermarket group to keep shops in rural areas. RegioBank and SPAR are also working together to keep banking services in small villages. Subsidy In August, it emerged the local council...  More >

Belgian strike disrupts intercity trains

Belgian rail strike disrupts intercity services, high-speed trains cancelled Rail passengers are being advised to find alternative ways to travel to Belgium on Monday because of a 24-hour strike by Belgian rail workers. Intercity trains to Brussels have been cancelled, as has the Thalys high-speed service to the Belgian capital. Other rail strikes will take place on December 8 and 15. Belgian unions are striking against plans to increase the state pension to 67, to make education and childcare more expensive and to cut government services.  More >

MH17 wreckage collected, crash site clear

MH17 wreckage collected, Ukraine crash site now cleared Rescue workers have completed their mission to salvage the major parts of Malaysian Airways flight MH17, brought down in eastern Ukraine in July by a missile. The Dutch-led team has collected 650 cubic metres of wreckage, plus human remains and personal possessions during their work at the site of the crash. This will now be brought to the Netherlands for investigation, although how this will happen is not yet clear, the NRC said. 'The mission passed off extremely well,' a team leader told reporters. 'Every day we had to contend with shooting or other incidents,' he said. 'If something had happened in the city, then the local staff could not help us and we could not go to the crash site.'  More >