Snow causes traffic problems in Netherlands

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Snow this morning has caused problems on the roads, trains and at Schiphol.

25 March 2008

AMSTERDAM - Departing flights at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam were delayed due to continuing snow in the Netherlands, it was reported on Tuesday. The number of departing flights was reduced from 60 to 45 per hour.

Train traffic was also affected by the snow. All train traffic to and from Rotterdam was suspended on Tuesday.

The second day of snowfall this winter season caused problems on the train tracks, a spokesman for the Dutch railways NS said on Tuesday.

Trains in the east of the country, between Zutphen and Winterswijk, were also suspended until the problems are solved. NS said the tracks were currently too slippery to be used.

In the night between Monday to Tuesday, 37 road accidents took place due to slippery roads, a spokesman for the Dutch police said on Tuesday.

A warning by the Dutch ministry of road infrastructure, traffic and waterways to stay home as much as possible did not prevent problems on the roads.

By 7 am several Dutch highways had already been closed down entirely or partially following accidents caused by the snow. By 8 am the total length of traffic jams amounted to 760 kilometres -almost seven times the daily average.

Among the highways closed partially due to accidents were the A12 running from The Hague in the west to Arnhem in the east, but also the busiest highway of the Netherlands, the A2 running from Den Bosch in the south to Amsterdam in the north.

Two accidents took place on the A2 highway, closing all but one lane in both directions.

There were also snow-related accidents on the A4 from Amsterdam to The Hague and the A16 from Breda to Antwerp in Belgium.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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