Environmental group calls for80kmh limit around Randstad

28th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

28 October 2004, AMSTERDAM — An environmental lobby group has called on the Dutch government to reduce the maximum speed limit to 80kmh on the roads in and around the nation's four largest cities to reduce serious air pollution and combat traffic jams.

28 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — An environmental lobby group has called on the Dutch government to reduce the maximum speed limit to 80kmh on the roads in and around the nation's four largest cities to reduce serious air pollution and combat traffic jams.

Joris Wijnhoven of Milieudefensie (known in English as Friends of the Earth Netherlands) said on Thursday reducing the limit from 100kmh on the motorways around the cities was essential to combat serious air pollution around Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

He said recent satellite images had revealed the biggest four Dutch cities suffered from the "unhealthiest air" in the European Union. This was because the Randstad cities had an enormous concentration of freight and private cars per square metre. The amount of daily traffic continues to grow.

The environment lobby group claimed in its report "Snelheid geboden" (Speed Offered) that the Dutch government was procrastinating in introducing 80kmh speed limits. This is despite a successful introduction of the reduced speed limit on the A13 at Overschie, Rotterdam, in May 2002.

The report also said that an 80kmh limit would cut the pollution along the motorways by 20 percent and noise levels by about 15 percent. The reduced limit would also lead to reduced fuel use, fewer accidents and traffic jams due to a better flow of traffic, the environment group said.

Milieudefensie said Hester Maij and Wim van Sluis — who are responsible for the Amsterdam and Rotterdam city council's environmental departments respectively — support the 80kmh limit.

"Every Amsterdammer has a right to an environment which offers peace, health and safety," Maij — who sits on the Amsterdam executive council — said.

Van Sluis said while the reduction in the speed limit was not the ultimate answer, it would provide considerable benefits. "I can't think of any other measures that could be introduced as easily and quickly at a local level to attain comparable results," he said.

Milieudefensie accused Transport Minister Karla Peijs of dragging her feet on the issue, despite promising earlier this year to introduce the speed limit on a test basis on several roads.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news 

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