Road pricing will cut jams, says car lobby (update)

A confidential environment ministry report which states there could be up to 12 million cars on the Dutch roads by 2040 and that the introduction of road pricing will have little effect on congestion has been criticised by motoring organisations.

The report estimates that the number of cars on Dutch roads is set to grow from the current 6.5 million to a minimum 7.7 million and maximum 12 million by the year 2040.
It says the increase in traffic will cause growing jams, approach roads to the cities will become clogged up, parking in cities will become almost impossible and noise pollution will increase.
However, Koos Burgman, spokesman for both the RAI and Bovag motoring organisations, said the report could not be taken seriously. ‘The figures don’t add up and the vision taken of the future is much too broad,’ he said in a statement. ‘Pay-to-drive is an important tool in curbing traffic jams, and much fairer than raising taxes.’
Calculations by the motoring organisations show that pay-to-drive will lead to a 40% reduction in traffic jams by 2020. Drivers, the organisations say will cut the number of kilometers they drive by between 10% and 12%.
And because car tax will be abolished under the new system, it will become cheaper to buy a car. The motoring organisations say this will lead to more younger drivers who are more environmentally aware, which will have a positive effect on the use of fuel.
A spokesman for environment minister Jacqueline Cramer said the report is an internal discussion report and no policy decisions have been made.

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