Criticism mounting against 130 km speed limit

13th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Criticism against Transport Minister Melanie van Schultz van Haegen’s plans to increase speeds on Dutch motorways is mounting. Eighty percent of municipalities want to be able to take action if air pollution gets too bad reports the NOS public broadcaster.

The cities of Rotterdam and Utrecht have asked the minister not to increase speeds near their suburbs.

Rotterdam municipality says increasing the speed from 80 to 100 kilometres per hour on the A13 near Overschie will damage the health of local residents because air quality will be poorer.

It was because of the demonstrable poorer health of local residents in the area that speeds were lowered to 80 kilometres per hour back in 2002.

Meanwhile, the city council of Utrecht wants the minister to review her plan to increase speeds on the A12 motorway.

The municipality fears making variable speeds up to 130 kilometres per hour on the A12 and increasing speeds between suburbs Oudenrijn and Lunetten from 80 to 100 km per hour will affect health and noise nuisance.

Freesheet reports that the minister has simply ignored various reports on road safety and health in order to present her plans to increase maximum road speeds on 60 percent of Dutch motorways. The paper, which has possession of 129 reports requested via the Government Information Act, quotes a civil servant's email to a colleague:  "The rough indication which we gave on the increase in road deaths and injuries and costs of tackling design elements has been left out of this document. I don't know why."

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