Record breaking traffic jam cost Dutch companies €4.2 million

Snow in Amsterdam, 11 Dec 2017
Snow in Amsterdam, 11 Dec 2017Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

Snowy weather in the Netherlands on Monday resulted in a record number of traffic jams during evening rush hour. At the peak of traffic late in the afternoon, there were around 1,500 kilometers of traffic jams on Dutch roads, according to the ANWB. Taking all roads into account, there was over 2,500 kilometers of traffic on Monday afternoon. These traffic jams cost Dutch companies around 4.2 million euros, research institute TNO calculated.

Morning rush hour on Monday was relatively quiet, as most people followed the Rijkswaterstaat's advice to stay off the roads. But by late afternoon, traffic jams quickly started piling up. 

The previous traffic jam record dates from 2013 and involved over 1,000 kilometers of traffic jams, Dennis Mooij of ANWB said to NOS. The eastern parts of Noord-Brabant saw most traffic problems on Monday afternoon and evening, partly due to ice on the roads. The A2 at Eindhoven was closed in both directions for some time. Motorists were also stuck in traffic for long times in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. In Amsterdam the police warned that the A10 ring road around the capital was extremely busy, slippery and hardly accessible. The Prins Clausplein junction near The Hague and the roads to the A4 were closed for hours for the same reason.

Around 9:00 p.m. on Monday 275 thousand hours were lost in traffic jams, compared to 180 thousand hours on an average autumn Monday, according to TNO, reports. The 4.2 million euros in damages suffered by companies through these lost hours is therefore 1.5 million euros higher than average. More than 40 percent of the damage was suffered by freight traffic, the rest by passenger cars. 

The weather also caused chaos in train traffic and at airports in the Netherlands. Schiphol is still trying to catch up after canceling over 600 flights on Monday. 

Numerous schools, companies and zoos closed early on Monday or stayed closed the entire day due to the weather.