Variable motorway speed limit trial starts on A1
An experiment involving variable speed limits on the A1 motorway between Bussum and Muiderberg started on 19 January
AMSTERDAM — Transport Minister Camiel Eurlings is giving the starting signal for the trial. Normally the speed limit on this stretch of the motorway is 100 kilometres per hour. During the rush hour or in poor weather conditions the speed limit will be lowered.
In the evenings when the roads are quieter the speed limit will be increased to 120 kilometres per hour, the maximum speed allowed on any motorway in the Netherlands.
The number of cars on the road will be measured by sensors in the asphalt and the variable speed limits will be indicated by signs above the motorway and on the side of the road. It's hoped that the experiment will improve congestion and be better for the environment.
Later this year, similar experiments will be held on other stretches of motorway in the Netherlands. In Tilburg air quality will be measured and if the number of particles is too high, speed limits will be lowered to 80 kilometres per hour for a few days.
The experiment means an end to the standard 80 kilometre speed limit on motorways close to large cities. Research shows that air quality is improved but congestion in some places is worse. Traffic congestion in the Netherlands is a hot political issue. Several transport ministers have promised to tackle the problem in recent years, but few ideas have actually come to fruition.