Traffic on roads is steadily increasing again

The Dutch are making more use of their cars and public transport since the government ended the ‘hard lockdown’ at the beginning of this month. It gets noticeably busier on the road.

On the road and on the trains, buses, metros and trams, it was about as busy last week as in the autumn, before the country was closed again as the corona infections rose. This is apparent from figures from the National Road Traffic Data Portal (NDW) and the public transport chip card company Translink. A researcher from the NDW speaks of a ‘slightly increasing trend’ when he looks at the traffic on the road. That’s partly because people get in the car more often in the spring and summer anyway. If this is taken into account, it remains true that it will become busier.

Compared to the period before the corona crisis, it is still quiet on the Dutch roads. Last week it was 16 percent quieter on working days than in a comparable week in 2019 and 12 percent on weekends. But it is not nearly as quiet on the road as in the middle of the first lockdown. Then the traffic volume was regularly halved.

Exciting period ahead

Now that the Netherlands seems well on its way to a return to ‘normal’, it is exciting what may have permanently changed in traffic congestion due to the corona crisis. The optimistic expectation is that working from home is here to stay and that the old commute will therefore only partially return. However, at the end of May, the Mobility Alliance warned that there are indications that people will largely revert to old habits and the traditional peak hours will return. The alliance therefore called on employers and the government to think carefully about this. Among other things, there are calls for spreading travel times and permanent flexibility with regard to working from home.

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