Yellow alert as icy roads cause rush-hour tailbacks

Driving licences on your mobile phone ‘in next few years’

Icy conditions disrupted traffic in the Monday morning rush-hour following overnight snow and sub-zero temperatures. A yellow alert was issued for the entire country apart from Zeeland as wet roads turned to ice in the early hours. The worst conditions were in Gelderland and Overijssel, where several accidents caused delays on the A28 and A50 motorways. A minibus overturned on the A28 between 't Harde and Harderwijk, on the eastbound carriageway heading towards Amersfoort, after skidding on ice. The ANWB reported tailbacks of 17km at 7am. On the A50 a queue of 11km was recorded between Hattemerbroek and Vaassen, while the N736 was blocked by a collision between two cars and a tractor between Wezep and Kampen. The KNMI said the yellow warning would remain in force throughout the day in the northern provinces Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel. Conditions are expected to improve during the afternoon, Weerplaza said.  More >

Extra trains from The Hague to Rotterdam

Driving licences on your mobile phone ‘in next few years’ Trains between The Hague and Rotterdam will run every five minutes from 2025 to meet rising commuter demand. The government is spending €300 million on upgrading the line and stations between the two cities to allow eight intercity trains and six sprinters to make the journey in both directions every hour. The biggest change is between Rijswijk-Zuid and Delft, where the number of lines will be increased from two to four. The change has been made possible by the completion of the new Delft tunnel. The upgrade is part of the High Frequency Rail Travel Programme (PHS) which is designed to increase capacity on the busiest lines. Since December last year trains have run every 10 minutes between Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven.  More >

Dutchman arrested in Cambodia for dancing

Dutchman among tourists arrested in Cambodia for ‘pornographic dancing’ A 22-year-old Dutchman is among 10 foreign nationals arrested in Cambodia for engaging in what police called 'pornographic dancing'. Police broke up a house party in the tourist resort of Siem Reap, near the historic temple complex at Angkor Wat, attended by around 90 people. Most have been released but eight men and two women were detained, including five Britons, two Canadians, a Norwegian, a New Zealander and a Dutch national. Photos from the event show people dancing fully clothed, but police said some of them were depicted in 'sexually suggestive poses', which is classed as pornography in Cambodia and illegal. Those who were arrested were told they could receive jail sentences if found guilty. Cambodian law allows them to be held for up to six months before they stand trial. The Dutch foreign ministry said it was investigating the incident.   More >

Rail vandalism up despite security drive

Driving licences on your mobile phone ‘in next few years’ Vandalism on the railways is on the increase in spite of new preventive measures introduced by operator ProRail. The company recorded 649 incidents last year, compared to 608 in 2016. They include shopping trolleys, surfboards and bricks being placed on the tracks. 'People often don't realise that their actions can lead to life-threatening situations,' said a ProRail spokesman. The most costly form of vandalism is graffiti, which costs €4 million a year to clean up. In recent years ProRail has hired extra surveillance staff to patrol areas where vandals are known to operate, installed cameras in all medium-sized stations and started using mobile cameras. The company has also urged YouTube to take down films of 'train surfing' in which young vloggers record themselves hanging off the side of moving trains. YouTube has said it has a policy of taking down dangerous footage as soon as possible.    More >

NS 'making big losses' on British trains

Driving licences on your mobile phone ‘in next few years’ National rail operator NS is facing big financial losses on its British operations, according to informed sources in the UK transport sector. 'NS subsidiary Abellio is making very aggressive moves which can only lead to substantial losses, which NS and the Dutch taxpayer will have to bear,' the Telegraaf quoted a top figure in the UK rail sector as saying on Wednesday. Last year NS/Abellio was fined €41m by the consumer watchdog ACM for abusing its position in tendering for rail services in southern Limburg. ACM ruled that NS had 'made a loss-making bid in order to thwart a competitor'. The NS unit now has three rail concessions in the British Isles. Abellio's aggressive approach is reflected in the extreme difference between the Dutch tender for a service and that of its nearest competitor. British rail services are exceptionally competitive, margins are tiny and the differences between competitors very small, but Abellio continues to make what are regarded as reckless bids. NS was not the highest bidder for the Scotrail concession in Scotland, but it won the Greater Anglia and West Midands contracts with bids about 20% higher than the competitors.  More >