Speed limits to change in bid to cut pollution
29 October 2004 , AMSTERDAM — After an environmental lobby group accused the Dutch government of dragging its heels on combating air pollution, Transport Minister Karla Peijs said Friday she will reduce speed limits to 80kmh on certain motorways — but increase others to 120kmh.
29 October 2004
AMSTERDAM — After an environmental lobby group accused the Dutch government of dragging its heels on combating air pollution, Transport Minister Karla Peijs said Friday she will reduce speed limits to 80kmh on certain motorways — but increase others to 120kmh.
Minister Peijs said the proposed changes stemmed from an investigation into the nation's speed limits commissioned after a debate in the Lower House of Parliament, Tweede Kamer, in October 2003.
To combat serious air pollution in the congested Randstad in the north-west of the country, Peijs intends to reduce speed limits from 100kmh to 80kmh on several state motorways in the second half of 2005.
These motorways are the A10 Amsterdam ring road (Nieuwe Meer-Coentunnel), the A20 (Kleinpolderplein-Crooswijk) and the A12 (Utrechtsebaan-Voorburg in the Utrecht-bound lanes).
And the speed limit of 120kmh will be reduced to 100kmh on the main lane of the A12 (Oudenrijn-Lunetten) and from 100kmh to 80kmh on the parallel lanes.
The speed limit on the A13 (Berkel en Rodenrijs-Delft Noord), will be reduced in both directions from 120kmh to 100kmh to introduce a logical change in speed between Prins Clausplein and Overschie, where a limit of 80kmh is imposed.
The changes come after environment group Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) accused the government Thursday of procrastinating on the introduction of more 80kmh speed limits, despite the successful introduction of the reduced speed on the A13 at Overschie, Rotterdam, in May 2002.
Citing recent satellite images that revealed the Randstad suffered from the "unhealthiest air" in the European Union, spokesman Joris Wijnhoven said reducing the speed limit was essential to combat air pollution around Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
The group's report also said an 80kmh limit would cut pollution along the motorways by 20 percent and noise levels by 15 percent. The lower limit would also lead to reduced fuel use, and fewer accidents and traffic jams.
But despite opting to reduce the speed limits in certain regions, the Transport Ministry also said that at 10 points across the nation, the speed limit could be increased from 100kmh to 120kmh.
These motorways include the A2 from the Ouderijn junction to the Everdingen junction and on the A4 from the Burgerveen junction in the direction of Leidschendam.
The increases are dependent upon an acoustic investigation on each road and the budgeting of noise reduction works. The minister will provide the Dutch Parliament with further information before the summer of 2005.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, speed limits, air pollution