Monday 18 November 2019

Transport alliance calls for €56bn effort to stop NL grinding to a halt

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Netherlands needs to spend €56bn on the roads, public transport, cycling and road safety to stop the country seizing up by 2040, according to a report by 25 transport lobby groups and organisations.

The Mobility Alliance, which includes the motoring organisation ANWB as well as the Dutch national railway company and transport sector lobby group TLN, says in its 70 page report, that without action the Netherlands will grind to a halt.

On Tuesday it emerged that the plan includes the introduction of road pricing to reduce car traffic – money which, the organisation says, would be used to fund a string of major transport-related developments.

These other proposals include extending the Amsterdam metro system to Schiphol airport, bringing in new light rail systems to the other big cities and developing a fast bus line between Breda and Utrecht along the A2 motorway.

People should also be encouraged to become more flexible in the methods of transport they use, with the development of out-of-town hubs where they can switch from car or train to bike.

The group also propose experimenting with allowing residents to trade parking rights, varying the tax paid by company car drivers and allowing motorists to buy the right to travel at peak periods.

Competition

‘Let us be clear, mobility has to be improved,’ said NS chief Roger van Boxtel. ‘This is crucial for our competitive position, for durability and for the happiness of our people. Successive cabinets will have to work on this. There is no time to wait.’

Transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen has told the Telegraaf she will not cooperate with any initiatives to bring in road pricing or higher charges for driving at peak periods. The idea, she said, is ‘a horror’.

‘I am not going to start on that,’ the minister said.

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