The general director of Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat is very concerned about the increasing aggression road users are showing road inspectors. Three-quarters of road inspectors are confronted with verbal abuse or rude hand gestures almost every day, and so far this year there's been 11 reports of physical violence against road inspectors, general director Michele Blom said to De Telegraaf.
Where a nationwide public transit strike only resulted in somewhat busier-than-usual evening rush hour on Tuesday, the prospect of a long weekend caused the busiest evening rush hour of the year on Wednesday. According to travelers' association ANWB, at its peak there were over 1 thousand kilometers of traffic jams on Dutch roads on Wednesday evening, NU.nl reports.
As a national one-day public transit strike was almost halfway finished in the Netherlands, traffic was already beginning to pile up on highways in the Netherlands from 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Drivers jammed up nearly 450 kilometers of highways by 4:45 p.m., up from roughly 300 kilometers of traffic jams 40 minutes earlier, according to travelers' association ANWB.
Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat is investigating whether there is a connection between three fatal accidents this past week, in which a total of nine people were killed. In all three cases, the cars collided with so-called matrix signs. Rijkswaterstaat will investigate whether these road signs played a role in the cause of the accidents, AD reports.
Four people were killed in a one-sided accident on the A1 near Deventer on Monday morning. The highway is currently closed in the direction Hengelo to Apeldoorn, public works department Rijkswaterstaat said on Twitter.
The car crashed into a matrix sign and caught fire, according to NU.nl. Emergency services responded to the scene in large numbers.
The cause of the accident is not yet known. The police are investigating.
Motorists can expect busy roads in the Netherlands on Thursday afternoon and evening. As the long Easter weekend starts, traffic jams will be longer and start earlier, public works department Rijkswaterstaat expects. The first traffic jams are expected to start forming around 2:00 p.m., NU.nl reports.
While perhaps more commonly known for floods than droughts, The Netherlands is allocating seven million euros to combat excessively dry seasons in the country. The money will be used to build larger water reservoirs in sandy areas, to monitor levels of evaporation, and to reduce the impact of salinization on drinking water production, the government announced on Friday.
The Netherlands' tunnels, bridges, locks and flood defenses are not sufficiently protected against cyber attacks, the Court of Audit concluded in a report published on Thursday. The Court advises the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to make cyber security on these essential parts of Dutch infrastructure a priority.
A cruise ship collided with a cargo ship, loaded with cars, on the Waal river near Nijmegen at around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday. The passengers were all shaken, but unharmed, according to local safety office Veiligheidsregio Gelderland-Zuid. Public works service Rijkswaterstaat and the fire department evacuated the cruise ship, ANP reports.
Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat suspended an employee on suspicion of large-scale fraud. According to Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management, the employee is suspected of submitting false invoices since 2014, involving an amount of at least 1.7 million euros, NOS reports.
Rijkswaterstaat reported the incident to the police, who launched an investigation. The police suspect that others may also be involved in the fraud. The home of the employee was searched. So far no arrests were made.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is setting up five additional parking areas in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. These "buffer parking locations" have space for 700 trucks, for the event that carriers do not have their customs documents in order for maritime transport to the United Kingdom, NU.nl reports.
A large part of the Netherlands is covered in snow on Friday. It is expected to melt away quickly, but will likely still cause problems during the morning commute. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for icy roads, applicable to the entire country. And NS is running fewer trains.
The Rotterdam The Hague Airport is temporarily closed on Tuesday due to snowfall. The fire department is at the airport to clear snow off the runways, but did not have much success, a spokesperson said to RTV Rijnmond. The airport will assess the situation again after 2:00 p.m. and decide whether it can reopen.
At least one incoming flight was redirected to Schiphol due to the closure, according to the broadcaster. A few departing flights have been delayed
The first snow of the season started falling in Vlissingen around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. "Nicely according to the plans", Weerplaza said. Meteorological institute KNMI expects that around 3 centimeters of snow will fall in the Netherlands on Tuesday, and issued a code yellow warning of icy roads.
The Netherlands is expected to get some snow this morning, and this will likely cause problems with all forms of travel. NS and ProRail are running fewer trains, Schiphol warns of flight delays, and public works department Rijkswaterstaat expects traffic problems, especially during evening rush hour. A code yellow warning for slick roads is in effect for the entire country.
Emergency services responded en masse to the marina at the Nederrijn in Wageningen on Sunday after two reports of a rowboat capsizing. Rescue workers searched for possibly missing rowers in the water for hours, but found nothing, De Gelderlander reports.
Next month Rijkswaterstaat will start widening the A1 highway between Apeldoorn and the Azelo junction near Almelo. The 65 kilometer stretch of highway will be widened almost everywhere. This major job is expected to take 10 years to complete and cost around 400 million euros, NU.nl reports.
The A1 is one of the two main road links from the Randstad to the North and East European hinterland.
Commuters in the Netherlands must be extra careful when driving to work on Friday morning. The roads can be icy due to wet areas freezing overnight, and due to winter showers in the northern and northeastern parts of the country, meteorological institute KNMI warns.
A code yellow warning is in effect for the entire country, except the Wadden Islands, until 10:00 a.m. "All road users may be affected. Adjust your driving behavior. Follow weather reports and warnings", the KNMI warns.
Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat is launching an investigation into what consequences small plastic particles that ended up in the Wadden sea after 291 containers fell off a ship in the North Sea last week will have for animals in the area. The investigation will be done in cooperation with scientific institute Waddenacademie in Leeuwarden. The results will also show which measures can be taken so that the Wadden Sea is better protected, NU.nl reports.
Waterboards in the northern parts of the country have started closing dikes as a stormy wind blows across the Netherlands on Tuesday. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow weather warning for a large part of the country. The strong winds warning is in effect until at least 9:00 p.m.
Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat and shipping company MSC have located around 220 of an estimated 281 containers that fell off ship MSC Zoe in the North Sea last week. Most of the containers, located with the help of sonar boats, are at the bottom of the North Sea, near the Wadden Islands, a spokesperson for Rijkswaterstaat said to NU.nl.
The Ministry of Defense deployed 100 soldiers to assist in cleaning up sea containers and their content that washed ashore on the Wadden Islands. Some 270 containers fell from cargo ship MSC Zoe near Germany during the early hours of Wednesday morning. Around 35 containers washed ashore on the Wadden Islands. Friesland and Groningen on the mainland also found containers and their content, NU.nl reports.
The soldiers will start cleaning up the beaches on the Wadden Islands on Friday. Some soldiers had to come back from their Christmas holidays to help, according to the newspaper.
Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat bought three brand-new ships for 26.3 million euros to replace five outdated ships, but due to a flaw in the design they can't be used for their intended purpose until adjustments have been made, RTL Z reports based on its own research.
Around 600 thousand traffic signs in the Netherlands are redundant, and the mess of signs along the road actually decrease road safety, according to safe traffic association VVN, the government's knowledge center on traffic and transport CROW, and HR Groep, the Telegraaf reports.
The Netherlands counts over 3 million traffic signs. 20 percent of them are superfluous. The organizations call for these redundant signs to be removed, because they distract motorists and may cause them to overlook more important road signs.