Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will lead the Dutch delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week. The Queen will attend the entire Forum in her capacity as special advocate of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Inclusive Financing for Development. The Prime Minister will join the meetings later in the week.
The governments of Noord-Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht are hoping to stimulate electric driving with more charging points. A total of 20 thousand new charging points will be installed in the three provinces, which put out a call for bids on the project on Monday.
"Twenty thousand new charging points are a great next step and will really help to encourage electric driving," said Utrecht provincial politician Huib van Essen. He said his province alone needs at least another four thousand charging points in the coming years.
Dozens of Dutch municipalities, provinces and the central government will sign the Clean Air Agreement on Monday - a promise to improve air quality in the Netherlands. With a package of measures, they want to prevent some 5 thousand premature deaths by 2030. The government is pushing 50 million euros into the agreement, municipalities and provinces dozens of millions more, NOS reports.
The 20 largest rural municipalities in the Netherlands on Wednesday signed an accord with Minister Stientje van Veldhoven, responsible for Housing and Environment, to promote car sharing in their municipalities. The aim is to have at least 100 thousand shared cars with 700 thousand users by 2021.
Minister Stientje van Veldhoven, responsible for Environment and Housing, submitted a new bill to parliament that makes it mandatory for homeowners who rent out their homes to tourists to register this with their municipality. Those who fail to do so face a fine of up to 83 thousand euros. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, who insisted on the law, think it does not go far enough, NRC reports.
The Dutch government is pushing over a billion euros into improving accessibility within the Netherlands. Schiphol Station will undergo major renovations for 237 million euros, and a high speed train line will soon link the northern cities of Leeuwarden and Groningen with the rest of the country, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management said in a letter to parliament.
Drivers in the Netherlands will soon be limited to just 100 kilometers per hour on Dutch roadways, in an effort to make an immediate and dramatic reduction in air pollution, sources told broadcaster NOS.
The Dutch government is establishing a fund next year where homeowners can borrow money to remove and replace their asbestos roof, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure announced. She hopes that the fund will tempt homeowners to deal with this health risk in the short term, NOS reports
As the industry is failing to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles ending up in the trash and littering the streets and nature, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management has decided to move up her decision on introducing a deposit on small plastic bottles.
The Dutch government made an additional amount of 80 million euros available for promoting a circular economy in 2019 and 2020. The money is intended for projects that "fit in with the transition to an economy without waste", and thereby contribute to reducing CO2 emissions, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management announced.
The Netherlands' goal is to have a 50 percent circular economy by 2030, and have its economy be 100 percent waste-free by 2050.
By 2021, the Dutch government wants to begin phasing out the OV Chipkaart payment method used by public transportation operators for nearly a decade, the top deputy at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management wrote in a letter to parliament. New payment options will be meant to bring the options for local commuters inline with existing and future technologies commonly available to public transit users globally, Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven-van der Meer said.
The Dutch government is considering introducing levies so that those who benefit from public transport also help pay for its improvements, Financieele Dagblad reports based on documents the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management sent to parliament over the past six months.
The government is investing 3.5 million euros into counter-terrorism measures at six train stations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht, among others, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management would not say exactly which train stations are involved, according to the newspaper.
Pests like rats and mice are increasing rapidly in the Netherlands. There are also more and more infestations of bedbugs, which almost disappeared from the country in the last century. Animal scientist Bastiaan Meerburg blames this largely on the emergence of house sharing platforms like Airbnb, NOS reports.
People who use the train, tram and bus in the Netherlands will have to continue to check in each time they switch transit companies. Switching to one system for all the transit companies is too expensive, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
Amsterdam traffic and transport alderman Sharon Dijksma is "very concerned" about traffic safety and taxis, she said after a 24-year-old woman died in a collision with an Uber taxi this weekend. "In recent times too many accidents happened where taxis are involved", Dijksma said, Het Parool reports.
World leaders and scientists from almost al countries in the world are gathering in Katowice, Poland for an international climate summit. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Ministers Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate, Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management, and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure will represent the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch government plans to get rid of all unguarded railway crossings in the country within five years. No one else should become a victim due to the lack of booms and bells, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven wrote to the lower house of Dutch parliament, NOS reports.
Unguarded railway crossings are "just not of this time", Van Veldhoven wrote. "Every accident is one too many", she said. The initial plan was to get rid of unguarded crossings within 10 years. These plans are now being accelerated to within 5 years, "preferably even faster".
The Dutch provinces, transport regions and municipalities are pushing 245 million euros into getting more people to use their bicycles to get to work. In June State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure announced that the government is investing 100 million euros into measures to promote cycling, RTL Nieuws reports.
The government aims to convince 200 thousand extra people to use their bicycle for their daily commute. To achieve this, the government is investing into making cycling more attractive.
ProRail is accelerating the plan to run longer trains between Amsterdam and Nijmegen to implement it in the autumn of 2019, three years earlier than initially planned. The route is one of the busiest in the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management is not impressed by ProRail CEO Pier Eringa's intention to start blocking off unguarded railway crossings at his own initiative. "It is now a tradition for Mr. Eringa to show up with all kinds of plans in the media in the run-up to a parliamentary debate about railways", she said, NOS reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will discuss the railways on Thursday.
Multiple childcare organizations stopped using their Stint cargo bikes to transport kids following a fatal railway accident involving such a vehicle in Oss on Thursday morning. Four children between the ages of 4 and 8 were killed. An 11-year-old girl and a 32-year-old woman were seriously injured. The injured child and two of the other victims were sisters, according to the police.
Queen Maxima expressed her and the King's support for the families of the four children killed in a collision between a train and an electric cargo bike in Oss on Thursday morning. "We have no words for this", she said to journalists during her visit to Drachten.
With schools reopening in the central region of the Netherlands on Monday, and schools in the south already open after summer vacation, NS expects that trains will again be extra crowded during the coming weeks, RTL Nieuws reports.