Toll for cars in Amsterdam’s city centre proposed
In order to reduce traffic congestion in Amsterdam, the outgoing mayor and aldermen (B&W) at the municipality have proposed introducing a toll for cars in the city centre. In London, a similar system was put into place to curtail the crowdedness of roads. This has structurally reduced congestion by 15 percent in the British capital.
Vehicle-restricted areas of Amsterdam
Proposing a toll for the centre of Amsterdam comes as a result of a large license plate study in the south and west of the city centre. According to the study, which used data from TomTom regarding 40 million vehicle journeys, 40 to 60 percent of the cars in the areas around Nassaukade and Stadhouderskade should not have been there at all.
By introducing new measures, this unwanted traffic might be removed. The goal is to cut it down by at least half. The B&W suggests dividing up a large portion of Amsterdam into six vehicle-restricted areas connected by higher-capacity main roads.
Other measures include establishing one-way streets, breaking up streets with dead-ends and making certain routes less attractive. With fewer cars in these areas, the air quality will improve, along with the ease of crossing the road.
This proposal is however, just a proposal at this point in time; national legislation is required to compel drivers to pay toll fees. Despite this, the Dutch government coalition agreement does afford opportunities for trials of alternative forms of transport and payment.
Toll met with opposition
The proposal of a toll on cars in the city centre of Amsterdam has not exactly been met with support. In fact, several political parties in the Netherlands are completely against it and have already expressed their disapproval of the idea.
Despite support from outgoing alderman Pieter Litjens of the VVD, coalition party VVD MP Remco Dijkstra reported that the party would not support a toll in Amsterdam, as they feel that every city should be easily accessible for as many types of transport possible. However, due to a recess, the party has yet to give an official statement regarding the matter.
Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, has articulated that she will not be amending the law to make a toll fee possible in Amsterdam. She states that the coalition agreement clearly specifies that no new road charging policy will be implemented, a toll would therefore contradict this.
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