Tuesday 21 January 2020

Dutch to cut motorway speed limit in March, minister confirms

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The new daytime speed limit of 100 kph on Dutch roads will come into effect on March 16, infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen has told MPs.

The speed limit cut is one of a package of emergency measures the government is introducing to reduce nitrogen compound pollution following a court ruling in May. The Council of State said then the Netherlands is not doing enough to combat pollution and effectively halted thousands of new construction projects.

By limiting motorway speeds, nitrogen compound pollution will go down, allowing more construction projects to resume, the minister said. The new signposting will be installed from March 12 to March 16.

Motorists will still be able to drive at 120 kph or 130 kph in the evening on some roads.

The government has also agreed to allocate €250m extra to help regenerate natural areas which have been damaged by the impact of too much nitrogen, and will introduce emergency legislation to ensure coastal protection schemes and essential road and waterway works can go ahead.

The composition of animal feed may also be altered to reduce the amount of ammonia in manure. The government earlier set aside €60m to compensate pig farmers who shut down their businesses. The livestock industry is a major producer of nitrogen-based pollution.

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