CDA unveils ambitious anti-gridlock plan
21 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Christian Democrat CDA party has proposed constructing another 250km of motorways to widen the nation’s gridlocked roads. Part of the ambitious project could include the construction of double-deck motorways.
The academic bureau of the government coalition party has also demanded a significant increase in rail reliability and train frequency. To vacillate this, the CDA is prepared to increase investment in rail transport, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
The CDA hopes increased investment in the rail network will sharply reduce within 10 years the delays caused by track change malfunctions and problems with overhead cabling.
It also said more money should be allocated to the development of environmentally-friendly technology, such as a hydrogen engine.
CDA Parliamentary leader Maxime Verhagen has backed the advice, claiming that the government’s transport policies in recent years have failed. He said restricting the road network to protect the environment backfired, traffic jams have lengthened and the rail network still offers no alternative.
“There has been an attempt to pester the motorist out of the car by doing nothing about the traffic jams and with measures such as toll gates,” he said.
“But in the meantime, there is no alternative for the car because there is still insufficient capacity on the railway.
“The only result is that the annoying traffic jams have only become longer, while the intended flow and environmental effects have not panned out.”
To finance the project, the CDA has proposed setting up a special fund that would accumulate revenue from road tax, the BPM tax on passenger cars and motorcycles and the Eurovignet tax on trucks.
The potential revenue from the proposed kilometre levy — in which motorists will pay per driven kilometre — could also be used for road construction projects, the CDA said. But it also said the levy should only be imposed once the road network has been expanded.
Transport Ministry figures in February indicated that the number of traffic jams increased 4 percent last year due to a 1.9 percent rise in the number of cars on the nation’s roads.
The ministry’s figures indicated that motorists were more often in a traffic jam last year, especially in the morning, and at more locations, but delays remained about the same. The average traffic jam length came in at 3.17km and the delay varied from six to 11 minutes.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news