Dutch parliament gives municipalities the go ahead for banning scooters from bike paths

A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, voted for allowing municipalities to ban scooters from bicycle paths. Amsterdam already has a detailed plan ready for such a ban, and expects to be able to implement it, in combination with an obligation to wear a helmet on the road, by the middle of next year, the Volkskrant reports.

For a long time only the left wing parties and ChristenUnie supported the proposal to ban scooters from bicycle paths. But during a debate on the matter on Thursday, the VVD and CDA abandoned their opposition to this adjustment of traffic regulations and a majority in the Kamer voted for it.

In addition to Amsterdam, other large municipalities like Utrecht, The Hague and Eindhoven are also working on a ban, according to the newspaper. They used the same arguments as Amsterdam - the scooters are a danger on the increasingly crowded bike paths and contribute to air pollution.

Environmental organization Milieudefensie is happy with the decision. According to the organization, scooters don't only cause many unsafe situations on bike paths, but are also "extremely polluting", especially for people cycling behind them. "Scooters cause a quarter of all air pollution on the bike path", the organization said, according to RTL Nieuws. "This is a first step towards healthier and safer bike paths."

Now that the Tweede Kamer agreed to this ban, the Council of State still needs to give an opinion, according to the broadcaster. If the Council of State gives the go ahead, municipalities can start implementing the ban. Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management said that this measure will be evaluated a year after its implementation.