Amsterdam to toll cars in city center

An icy road in Amsterdam, 12 Dec 2017
An icy road in Amsterdam, 12 Dec 2017Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

The Amsterdam college of mayor and aldermen submitted a proposal to impose a toll on cars in the city center. They believe that making motorists pay to drive through the city center will be an effective measure to reduce traffic in the area, AD reports.

This proposal was made based on the results of a large-scale license plate survey on the south- and west side of the city center. The survey used the data of 40 million vehicle passages and data from navigation company TomTom. The researchers came to the conclusion that putting a price tag on driving through the city is a good method to prevent traffic violations. In London, for example, the traffic intensity structurally decreased by 15 percent after the introduction of a £5 congestion charge, according to the researchers.

The introduction of such a toll will require a national law amendment. But according to the Amsterdam mayor and aldermen, there is an opening to experiment with this toll in the coalition agreement. The coalition agreement states that the government will allow trials "that serve to gain experience with alternative forms of transport and payment", according to the newspaper. 

Based on the license plate study, the Amsterdam college wants to divide a large part of the city into six low-traffic neighborhoods with larger main roads connecting those neighborhoods. The study showed that 40 to 60 percent of car traffic in the neighborhoods around Stadshouderskade and the Nassaukade should not be in those neighborhoods at all. The college wants to cut these neighborhoods off to at least half of the unwanted traffic using all kinds of traffic measures.

According to the mayor and aldermen, reducing the number of cars in these neighborhoods will improve the air quality, make roads safer to cross for residents, create a calmer street scene, and improve traffic safety in general.