Dutch cities threaten to grind to a halt unless traffic jams are tackled

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

The traffic chaos in Dutch cities is set to double over the next five years because the focus has been primarily on solving the motorway traffic jam problems, Trouw reported on Wednesday.

The paper bases its claims on research by traffic expertise centre Crow and mobility policy institute KiM. KiM expects the number of jams to go up 38% in five years because of improved prosperity and cheaper fuel prices.

This means that roads, crossroads and roundabouts in Dutch cities will be twice as busy as they are now because of the knock-on effect of extra traffic, Crow said.

The economic damage caused by jams in cities could mount up to almost €1.7bn by 2021, Crow said. The figures do not take the impact of the extra pollution on health into account.

The problem will affect the cities in the urban Randstad conurbation which includes Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague as well as smaller population centres such as Kampen, Leeuwarden, Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Eindhoven and Breda, Crow predicts.

The maximum capacity of city roads has already been reached and this means that new infrastructure will have limited effect. Instead, cities must focus on improving public transport, building more park and ride centres outside cities and putting up the cost of parking, Crow said.

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