Investment needed now in light rail network, local officials say

Photo: Rodneyghewy via Wikimedia Commons

Transport companies and officials from the four big cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague are urging the government to find new forms of finance for an extensive light rail network, or fast metro system, within the central urban belt.

The campaigners say a light rail network is crucial to prevent traffic gridlock in the future in the heavily-populated Randstad area. However, the project will not only be expensive but difficult to fund because the funds in the government’s mobility fund have been earmarked up to 2030.

‘Waiting is not an option given the urgency and the mobility problems,’ the campaigners say in the NRC.

‘The coalition agreement calls for co-financing… but how can pension funds or organisations such as the European Investment Bank contribute, such as through temporary bridging loans until there is more cash in the mobility fund?’

The good intentions in the coalition deal need to be translated into concrete deeds, they say: ‘That requires vision, direction, prioritisation, clear conditions and, most of all, action.’

MPs are due to debate investment in public transport on Wednesday.

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