Busy evening rush hour expected as protesting construction workers head home

Traffic piles up on the A13 at Delft as construction vehicles head to The Hague to protest against the government's policy on nitrogen emissions and PFAS, 30 Oct 2019
Traffic piles up on the A13 at Delft as construction vehicles head to The Hague to protest against the government's policy on nitrogen emissions and PFAS, 30 Oct 2019Photo: Rijkswaterstaat

A large protest by construction workers on the Malieveld in The Hague has come to an end and protesters have started to leave the city. The police made several arrests during the protest, but will only announce the actual number of arrests at the end of the day. Travelers' association ANWB expects a busy evening rush hour, especially around The Hague, as the protesters and their construction vehicles head home. 

The construction workers protested against the government's nitrogen policy and PFAS standard. The strict environmental rules have brought construction in the Netherlands to a standstill, they complain, according to RTL Nieuws. Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture promised that the government is working hard on measures to get construction back up and running again, especially housing construction. One of these measures is a quicker permit procedure for smaller scale projects in which no more than 200 homes are built.

The police had to intervene a number of times during the protest. The riot police closed down the tunnel on Utrechtsebaan. A number of protesters tried to reach the Malieveld with their construction vehicles, despite the field being full and protesters being instructed to go to the ADO stadium, according to NOS. Some protesters left their vehicles parked on Utrechtsebaan and continued to the Malieveld on foot. The street was therefore closed to traffic until the end of the protest.

Police officers also intervened when some protesters left the Malieveld and walked onto  Koningskade, causing traffic jams. A line of police officers guided the protesters back to the Malieveld, according to NU.nl. A police spokesperson could not tell the newspaper "if and how many" protesters were arrested. 

A spokesperson for public works department Rijkswaterstaat told NU.nl that is hard to say whether the leaving protesters will cause major traffic problems during evening rush hour. "It really depends on how the vehicles leave the Malieveld", he said, but added that rush hour will likely be busier than usual. "In any case, the evening rush our on Wednesday is always busier and messier than the morning rush hour." 

The ANWB said it expects a busy evening rush hour, especially around The Hague. The association advised road users to keep an eye on its site for current traffic information. 

Here and there construction workers were causing traffic jams on the highways during the early afternoon by driving very slowly. 

Tags: