Netherlands: New government; new plans on traffic

Netherlands: New government; new plans on traffic

On 15 December 2021, the Netherlands presented its new government. With the new government comes a new vision for transport and Europe. In order to be climate neutral by 2050, it is inevitable to focus also on sustainable mobilities.

Vehicle transport
In principle, all cars should be emission-free by 2030. To this end, the government will examine the possibilities of reduce the financial incentives for fossil fuels. In the context of the transition to zero-emission vehicles, a system based on the polluter-pays principle shall be introduced. From 2030, zero-emission vehicles will also have to pay a contribution to road maintenance, which will be based on annual mileage. Road tolls will then be abolished.

Even though Schiphol brings a lot of prosperity, air transport must also contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. Short-haul flying must be discouraged.
Taxes on airline tickets are to be increased. In addition, there will be emission caps per airport. The proposals of the European Commission regarding the taxation of paraffin are also welcomed. Ultimately, investments will also be made in synthetic energy for aircraft.

There will also be changes in the area of shipping. In order to make shipping more sustainable, reference is made to the use of biofuels. Also, the power grids on land in the ports are being expanded so that the engines do not have to remain in operation just to supply energy.

The government intends to further develop the plans towards the ‘Lely-line’. This is a railway track between De Randstad and the North of the Netherlands. This must improve the economic situation in the North and create a better connection to the north of Germany. Also, cross-border (night)trains are in the plans. Both in terms of time and cost, travelling by train is to be preferred to travelling by plane.

The priority for infrastructure is road safety. All Dutch municipalities must examine the possibilities of reducing the speed limit in their municipality to 30km/h wherever reasonable and appropriate. Other speed limits remain in force. The infrastructure will also be developed to create transfer points where travellers can easily switch to the (shared) car, train or metro.

All in all, it remains to be seen how the new government will implement the proposals from the coalition agreement on more sustainable mobility. With regard to climate policy, the new proposals are urgently needed. The dutch government even pointed out that the Netherlands will take a pioneering role in this area.

Read more in our Newsletter Dezember 2021.

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