Crowding concerns at Zandvoort beach; Vacation traffic to jam up roads all weekend

Beachgoers filled up the sand at Castricum, Noord-Holland. 31 July 2020
Beachgoers filled up the sand at Castricum, Noord-Holland. 31 July 2020NL TimesNL Times

Roads in the Netherlands and throughout Europe will be super busy this weekend as millions of holidaymakers are either heading to their vacation destination or returning home, travelers' organization ANWB warned. The hot weather also means more people flocking to the beach.

Due to overcrowding and the ongoing health crisis, the security region overseeing the Kennemerland region said people should not visit the Zandvoort beach on Friday. The municipality said around noon that all parking lots in Zandvoort and Bloemendaal were full.

"It is very busy in the trains and in traffic (car and bicycle) to Zandvoort and Blemendaal beaches. There are many quieter beaches on our coasts and other water spots, I recommend that you check them out! For your health and that of others!" said Marianne Schuurmans, the chair of the Kennemerland Security Region and the Mayor of Haarlemmermeer.

Those visiting Zandvoort were told they should leave either before 3 p.m. or after 8 p.m. In anticipation of the increased traffic to the beaches, national rail service NS is running extra trains to Zandvoort on Friday. Up until 11:00 p.m. there will be six trains per hour. 

Despite this, Schuurmans cautioned that despite best efforts by the NS and the city to prepare for additional transportation, "long lines and overcrowded trains" were likely.

Roads towards the coastal areas west of Amsterdam, near Rotterdam and the Hague and towards Zeeland were already jammed up early on Friday afternoon. As the afternoon started the ANWB counted 71 different traffic jams on Dutch roads covering a total of 380 kilometers. Both the ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat also reported trouble spots inbound from the east of the country and the German border. 

In addition to the vacation and holiday traffic, the Amsterdam region will also have to deal with roadworks on the A10 starting this weekend. The A10 Noord will be closed until August 10 from Watergraafsmeer junction to Coenplein, and the A8 towards Amsterdam will be closed between Assendelft and Zaandam.

Traffic is also expected to pile up on the A1 at Deventer and the A7 across the Afsluitdijk, according to ANWB.