One-hour train from Amsterdam to Groningen can help resolve housing shortage: Expert
The Lelylijn, a 130 kilometer per hour rapid rail connection between Amsterdam and Groningen, could help solve the Netherlands housing crisis, VVD deputy in Friesland, Avine Fokkens-Kelder, said to Nieuwsuur.
The Lelylijn is in the Rutte IV coalition agreement, with 3 billion euros set aside for its construction. Part of the deal is that the Cabinet is helping pay for the construction of the railway connection, and the four northern provinces are building between 25,000 and 75,000 extra houses. "We have the space. We need those homes because the housing market here is also quite tight. And we would like the people who left the north to return," Fokkens-Keldens said.
The fast railway connection between the Randstad and the north will also be good for northern businesses struggling to attract well-trained staff. "By making the distance shorter, you can keep the working population here at the right level. It becomes attractive for companies to come to the north, and that is good for employment," the deputy said.
Exactly what route the Lelylijn will take still has to be worked out. According to the program, it makes sense that the railway line will run along the A6 highway from Amsterdam to Emmeloord and along the A7 through Friesland to Groningen.
A problem with this route is that it crosses several natural areas, including the Van Oordt's Mersken Natura 2000 area near Drachten. "That is a vast wet hay meadow area with many birds," ecologist Fons Eysink said to Nieuwsuur. "In the past, the vast area was intersected by the A7 highway, which caused fragmentation of the cohesion. If you now also lay a railway line through it, the fragmentation worsens and affects the feeding area. Bird species that brood here will then disappear."