Randstad traffic paralyzing without public transit investment: aldermen
The aldermen form the Randstad want more money to be invested for the light rail, the rapid transit railway in the Randstad. If that doesn't happen, they fear that the public transport will be paralyzed within 10 years.
NOS conducted a study asking the councilors form municipalities in the Randstad how they pictured the development of the light rail. The questions concerned the actual plans and whether the investments by the Rijksoverheid (the central government) behind it were sufficient.
35 councilors replied to the questionnaire. Only one of them answered that in his opinion the government was providing sufficient funds for the light rail. Of the remaining, half replied that the funds were not enough and the rest did not give an opinion on the matter. These councilors informed NOS that the consultation on the investments will be made public in February. The consultation will be made with Stientje van Veldhoven, the new state secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Instead of replying to the questionnaire, Marc Rosier, councilor of the Zoetermeer municipality, picked up the phone and invited NOS for a chat. He feels positive about the light rail: "In 2008 around 20.000 people per day were making use of the railway to Den Haag. Now we have around 80.000 travelers per day. So it is working". Rosie hopes that there will be more money available for future light rail projects: "If we do not get any clarity over the investments to continue with the light rail projects, then Randstat will be really paralyzed".
According to the broadcaster, extending the railway line that now runs from Den Haag to Zoetermeer to Rotterdam will cost around 700 million euros. In the government agreement 2 billion euros are reserved for mobility, 40% of which would go to public transportation. Still not enough, according to the majority of the councilors in the Randstad.