Over 300 km of traffic jams as farmers go to protest in The Hague, De Bilt

Farmers protest on Malieveld in The Hague, 1 October 2019
Farmers protest on Malieveld in The Hague, 1 October 2019Photo: NL Times

Hundreds of farmers have taken to the streets on their tractors in another protest against nitrogen measures. They will start their protest in De Bilt, near the national institute for public health and environment RIVM, and then move on to The Hague around midday. Traffic is already piling up, with 346 kilometers of traffic jams reported by 7:15 a.m., according to the ANWB.

"This is going to get out of hand, especially in the Utrecht region", the ANWB said to NOS. There are long traffic jams on the A1, A2, A6, A12, A16, A27, and A2 highways. The biggest jam is currently on the A2 from Den Bosch to Utrecht at the Everdingen junction. There traffic is piled up for 30 kilometers. Motorists can expect to be stuck for over 80 minutes, the travelers organization said on Twitter.

Public works department Rijkswaterstaat calls on farmers to not block the roads and to drive their tractors on the right lane. For other commuters, the department advises delaying their journeys. 

The police in The Hague report that they pulled over 15 farmers on Utrechtsebaan, because they were threatening to drive their tractors into the Binnenhof - the political heart of the Netherlands. "That is not allowed", the police said. Protests are never allowed on the Binnenhof. "We are in discussion with these farmers."

Wednesday's national protests follows two days of local protests, including at eight provincial governments on Monday. So far the farmers pressured Friesland, Gelderland, Overijssel and Drenthe into reversing nitrogen measures they announced last week. Three farmers were arrested for incidents at the Groningen protest. One hit a police horse with his tractor, one rammed the provincial house's door with his tractor, and another pulled over fences on Vismarkt with his tractor. 

The farmers are protesting at the RIVM today because they do not trust the institute's nitrogen measurements and calculations, according to NOS. Many of the institute's workers will be working from home today. In Den Haag they'll protest against government policy on this front.