Faster introduction of road tolls, speedier road construction and a more integrated public transport system are needed to improve mobility in the Randstad (the urban conglomeration encompassing Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht). This is the conclusion of a report by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), says today’s Financieele Dagblad.
The report, which was commissioned by the Dutch economic affairs ministry, says that congestion in the Randstad is far worse than in other comparable member states.
The OECD calls for road pricing, currently planned for 2012, to be brought forward. According to the FD, the report notes ‘with some surprise’ that the Randstad does not have an integrated public transport system. And when it comes to trains, the region is ‘one of the worst developed in all of the 78 metropolitan regions in OECD’.
The report also criticises the housing market, the poor quality of office premises and the limited cooperation between the region’s universities. It calls too for more flexibility in labour regulations and faster procedures for allowing foreign high-tech workers into the country. And it recommends a single minister to take on responsibility for the region (there are currently two).
The transport ministry told the FD that it did not wish to comment on the report ministry which is not due to be officially published until April. The regional employers’ organisation VNO-NCW said the OECD recommendations are ‘an important signal by international experts’ and in line with its own call on the government to take action.
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