Opening speech Urban Mobility Track staatssecretaris Heijnen 18 oktober 2022
‘We’re looking forward to continuing our cooperation with the UK. That counts of course for all of us, companies and cities. All of you are no doubt keen to build new partnerships on sustainable transport and mobility. I wish you all a productive mission.’ This said Dutch minister for the Environment, Vivianne Heijnen, on the session ‘Urban Mobility Track’. The Minister was visiting the UK on a trade mission with 27 companies.
Minister Trevelyan, ladies and gentlemen,
- It’s good to see you all. Thank you for joining us. I’d like to thank the UK Department for Transport, Connect, The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Transfer, Tobacco Dock and our Embassy in the UK for hosting us and for all the preparations for this mission!
- Although we’re in the UK, some of us have been very Dutch today, because we cycled to the venue.
- My compliments for the nice bike lanes – I am feeling home already… So, I’m in the right mood to talk about sustainable mobility!
- I’m sure the same goes for the rest of the delegation.
- I’m proud to be here with a broad range of representatives of companies active in the urban transport and mobility sector. As well as representatives of ambitious cities like London, Manchester, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
So why did we come to the UK for this trade mission on sustainable mobility?
- In many ways, our countries are more than just North Sea neighbors: we’re partners, inspirers and allies, especially when it comes to sustainable mobility.
- The Netherlands admires the ambitions of the UK:
- You’ve set ambitious goals for the transition to zero emission mobility for all modes of transport, from walking to aviation and everything in between!
- You’re leading role in battery production.
- And the fact that you’ve started a bicycle revolution, to get Britain biking.
- Cycling…. Shared mobility… multi-modality in the city… charging infrastructure…..: these are only some of the areas in which the Netherlands has expertise.
- The Netherlands has also been referred to as “Not a small country, but a large city!”. Our sustainable mobility solutions therefore work well in an urban context.
- And we are happy to share them with other cities and regions in their transition. We do this by sharing knowledge, but also by taking advantage of business opportunities.
What opportunities do I see for more collaboration?
- First of all, sustainable transport is a highly innovative field. Both, UK and the Netherlands are strong in this field. So there are plenty of opportunities to strengthen each other.
- One example would be on charging infrastructure rollout. The Netherlands is an international frontrunner in this area, with one charging station for every four electric vehicles. Fastned has started first activities in the UK.
- We use open standards and protocols for EV infrastructure, so that anyone can charge their EV anywhere.
- Smart charging and vehicle-to-grid will soon be the new normal in the Netherlands. I am sure there are possibilities for more cooperation.
- Another opportunity is our shared ambition to make our cities healthier, by improving air quality. The UK has an active policy to promote walking. I am keen to hear more about it.
- As a cycling nation we can share our knowledge in this sector. After all, we have more bicycles than people. It’s said that Dutch children learn to cycle before they can even walk.
- All this means we have a lot of knowhow when it comes to issues like cycling infrastructure, e-bike sharing and bicycle parking facilities. It’s good to see that Dutch companies like Gazelle, Urban Arrow, Bakfiets.nl, Falco UK, Swapfiets, Dott have started activities here.
- We’re looking forward to continuing our cooperation with the UK.
- That counts of course for all of us, companies and cities. All of you are no doubt keen to build new partnerships on sustainable transport and mobility.
I wish you all a productive mission!