Users (both passengers and freight carriers) come first in the Netherlands’ transport system. The central government wants to develop a robust and cohesive transport system that uses all available modes of transport in order to guarantee good mobility.
The central government will prioritise investments (2021-2028) from the Infrastructure Fund to improve the standard of mobility in urban regions around the hubs, Brainport and greenports and their connections with the hinterland.
Investment in solving problems will be strategic: mobility problems will be tackled where this has the most economic value. Investments must also be ‘smart’: spread across modalities, based not only on traffic engineering principles, but also on the needs of users and the spatial and economic characteristics of the region.
Better use of the capacity of the main road and waterway networks
Expanding infrastructure isn’t the only way to improve mobility. Making better use of existing main roads, railways and waterways can also increase transport capacity. This results in more reliable travel times. To this end, the central government will take various measures such as:
- longer opening times for rush-hour lanes;
- the introduction of intelligent transport systems;
- arrangements with employers to reduce commuter traffic by introducing more flexible working hours;
- expansion of bicycle parking capacity at railway stations.
Goods transport: network of national and international connections
The logistics key sector is working on a vision of a core network of national and international connections and multimodal hubs. The international core network will include the main hinterland connections for goods from the hubs, Brainport and greenports. The central government is working with the logistics sector and local and regional authorities on the national section of this international network. This should lead to a single logistics system (for rail, water and road transport) that is well connected to neighbouring countries.
On the roads, through traffic and local traffic will be separated as far as possible to improve flow. On the main trunk routes outside the Randstad conurbation where congestion is a structural problem, three-lane carriageways will become the norm. In the Randstad, four-lane carriageways will be the norm. In all cases, infrastructural improvements must comply with statutory requirements such as those for noise levels and air quality.
From 2020, rail passengers will no longer need to use a timetable between major destinations. On the busiest routes, there will be six intercity and six stopping services an hour. Rail infrastructure will also be simplified, thus increasing the reliability of services.
The central government intends to work with local and regional authorities to set up public transport systems based on users’ needs. One aim is to create better connections between different systems (train, bus, tram, underground rail) and transport to and from hubs. And for users to get the most out of the transport system, easily access and comprehensive real-time travel information is essential.
Inland navigation is an important alternative mode of transport that helps reduce road traffic. Vessels must be able to travel as efficiently and reliably as possible. The capacity of the main waterways will be expanded to cope with increasing national and international movements to and from the hubs and greenports. The maximum waiting time at locks on the main national waterway network will be reduced to 30 minutes.
To ensure sufficient capacity and guarantee air safety, the air traffic infrastructure will need to be expanded. This includes building a new runway running parallel to the Kaagbaan at Schiphol.