Parties want more money for roads and railways in the northern Netherlands Related articles

More money should go to infrastructure in the northern Netherlands, several parties in the House of Representatives believe. The cabinet recently announced that it will invest around €7.5 billion in roads, railways and cycleways, but only a small part will go to the north of the country. CDA, PvdA, ChristenUnie, JA21 and the BBB, among others, believe that investment for the North is lagging behind and want to free up more money for it.

A train arrives in Groningen (ANP / Dutch Height Venema Medium)

According to CDA member Harry van der Molen, the North is “very underserved”. He points out that only four percent of total investment ends up in the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland. Van der Molen does not think it sufficient that the cabinet refers to the Lelylijns, from Lelystad to Groningen. “Hopefully it won’t be there for another ten years.” PvdA member Habtamu de Hoop also thinks the distribution is “too unfair”. CU MEP Stieneke van der Graaf also sees that the North is “late”. He again calls for the construction of the Nedersaksenlijn, which is to go from Groningen to Enschede via Emmen.


The parties are also calling for more attention to be paid to the railway route between Zwolle and Meppel. This “bottleneck” on the rail network is the only route north. The trajectory is often interrupted, an average of about nine hours a week. Consequently, the North is difficult to reach by train. JA21 and the BBB want the cabinet to allocate an extra €75m for it. The CDA is also in favor of greater investments in this stretch of track.

Minister Mark Harbers (Infrastructure) and Secretary of State Vivianne Heijnen (Infrastructure) defend the decision to make 65 percent of the investments in the Randstad and 35 percent in the rest of the country. They point out that most of the houses will be built in the Randstad in the coming years. All those houses need roads and public transport links. That’s why, according to Harbers, a “larger intervention” is needed there and he sees it “less in black and white” than part of the House. He points out that investments are also being made in the regions of Eindhoven and Arnhem-Nijmegen.


Heijnen admits he “really had to swallow, to put it mildly” when he saw how much money goes into extending the North-South line, for example. A total of no less than €5.4 billion will be invested in the Amsterdam region, of which the government will pay €4.1 billion. But investments there provide relief in surrounding regions, Heijnen says.

Author: ap
Source: BNR


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