Most Amsterdam parties support extending Noord-Zuid subway line to Schiphol

Noord-Zuidlijn train front
Noord-Zuidlijn train front. (Dries Arnolds / NLTimes)

Almost all political parties in Amsterdam are in favor of extending the new Noord-Zuid subway line to Schiphol, and later further into Haarlemmermeer, was revealed during the first municipal election debate in Pakhuis De Zwijger on Monday. The debate focused on Schiphol and the harbor, Haarlems Dagblad reports.

Only the SP objected to this extension of the new subway line, calling it too early to discuss extending the subway network. "The Noord-Zuid line was a huge problem", Thiers Bakker of SP said in the debate, referring to major delays in the construction of the line. "First let's see what the effect of that line is. Only in time will we be able to develop new visions."

The CDA was not present to raise an opinion on this matter, but all other parties expressed support for quickly extending the subway line to the Amsterdam airport, according to the newspaper. "That is the most urgent and easiest to develop. It is largely above ground and at 1.8 billion euros the costs can still be handled and largely raised by Amsterdam. It contributes to making the train stations less crowded and getting more people out of the car", PvdA member Ger Jager said. "Moving to Schiphol has to be the first project. After that, other plans to expanding the subway network can be discussed."

Schiphol director Andre van den Berg also supports extending the Noord-Zuid line to Schiphol.

But just because most Amsterdam parties support extending the subway line, not everyone supports letting Schiphol expand further. Only the VVD, D66 and FvD support growth in air traffic, emphasizing its importance for the business world and therefore employment. D66 alderman Udo Kock said that growth should not be limited. "But not all growth is good. We are already overwhelmed by tourists. The arrival of the EMA medicines agency is a desirable growth and that arrival was only possible due to the presence of Schiphol's enormous network. The dumbest thing you can do is put a lock on Schiphol. Schiphol will be able to grow well after 2020 if noise pollution is reduced. And Lelystad is really necessary for the growth of holiday flights. Because people want to travel, and increasingly take the plane." the alderman said, according to Haarlems Dagblad. 

The PvdA, GroenLinks, SP and DENK are all opposed to further growth of air traffic. "We have to meet the goals of [the Paris Climate Agreement]", Jasper Groen of GroenLinks said, according to the newspaper. "Don't hope for technical developments that are still very uncertain, such as electric flying. We must also not turn to Lelystad, because then we will burden the people there with noise pollution."

Schiphol director Van den Berg acknowledged that the enormous growth in aviation contributes to increasing noise- and air pollution. "More international trains would help. We have a high speed station. Then it helps when airlines offer combination tickets", he said in the debate. "If you were to ban flights, passengers would simply go to other airports." He added: "The introduction of ticket tax only makes sense if it is regulated internationally."

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