Traffic jams cost Dutch road transport industry a record €1.2bn

Long tailbacks on the A6. Photo:

Traffic jams are set to cause the Dutch road transport sector €1bn this year, which is a new record, road haulier lobby group TLN said on Friday.

The research also shows the worst traffic black spot for road freight is the A4 motorway between Amsterdam and The Hague, particularly at the Prins Clausplein junction. The A15 between Ridderkerk and Gorinchem and the A12 between Gouwe and Oudenrijn complete the top three stretches of road in terms of jams.

‘The damage starts ticking up as soon as drivers come to a halt,’ TLN chairman Arthur van Dijk told broadcaster NOS. ‘Diversions cost money too. In addition, jams lead to production delays because goods don’t arrive in time and shops can miss out on sales because of late deliveries.’

The new government has set aside €2bn to improve the Netherlands’ transport infrastructure but this does not go far enough, Van Dijk said. ‘The economy will continue to grow and so will traffic jams,’ he said.

Delft University transport policy professor Bert van Wee told NOS that he doubts more roads are necessary, considering the population growth is slowing and new technologies, such as self-driving cars, are emerging.

Road pricing – by which motorists pay a tax on every kilometre they travel – has been proved to be an effective way to cut congestion, he said.

The new government plans to introduce road pricing for freight traffic but transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said last month it will take at least five years to do so. Belgium and Germany already operate a form of road pricing on main roads.

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