Traffic jams set to increase despite road-building programmes

Long tailbacks on the A6. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch roads are becoming increasingly congested and the cost to society could reach some €3.7bn a year, according to research by the infrastructure ministry’s mobility institute KIM.

The increase in the financial impact of jams is due to delays experienced by both people and road transporters in reaching their destinations, as well as a rise in the number of road users, the institute said. It puts the traffic jam increase at 1.7% this year and 1.2% in 2018.

This means that travelling times could go up by as much as 28% by 2022 as pressure increases on the existing road networks. ‘When it comes to delays, time is money,’ spokesman Arjen ‘t Hoen told the AD.




The new government has earmarked €2.6bn for expanding and maintaining the road network in 2018 and plans to expand the road network by 1,000 kilometres by 2031, the AD points out.

The KIM says that some 60% of all kilometres travelled in the Netherlands are by car, including half of all non-business related journeys. Trains account for just 13% of kilometres travelled and bikes 8%.

Commuters

In particular, Dutch commuters are increasingly favouring travel by car or bike rather than public transport. The use of the train, tram, bus and metro both in the city and outside has fallen when compared to the car or bike.

The use of the bikes to get to work has risen by 3.5% since 2005 due in part to the popularity of e-bikes. The bike is the most popular means of transport in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht but the car is more popular in Rotterdam, the report said.