In the coming year, 3.6 billion euros will go to the overdue maintenance and renovation of roads, bridges, railways and waterways, the ministry announced on Budget Day.
There is hardly any extra asphalt. Now that society is gradually being reopened, I&W wants to avoid and spread out the crowds on the road and on the train as much as possible. To this end, agreements are made with employers and educational institutions about how people can work from home for part of the week.
The ministry seems to be following the example of the province of North Holland, which already made agreements in September 2020 with 20 employers with a total of around 38,000 employees about spreading working hours. These include ABN Amro and law firm Loyens & Loeff.
In the lunch break to the office
It can mean, among other things, that employees come to the office that day, but start at home and leave after the traffic jams, says a spokesperson for Loyens & Loeff.
“We are located on the Zuidas in Amsterdam. Many employees live nearby. They then travel to the office during the lunch break, for example. People who work further away are also allowed to travel later. They often go home later, which means that they also avoid rush hour on the way back.”
The brand new office in Amsterdam, which was put into use just before corona, employs 800 people. “It is important that not everyone avoids the rush hour on the same days and works (partly) from home. Because then it will be very busy here on Tuesday and Thursday and hardly anyone comes on Wednesday and Friday. The intention is that people within the team make appointments. . Where do they work and when.”
The employees will also come to the office after corona, especially for meetings. “But that is not necessary either. We can also work in a hybrid manner, whereby some of the people participate in digital meetings from home. The most important thing is that you clearly indicate in advance whether you are coming or not.”
Not everyone is happy that the government is partly looking to work from home and invest little in new infrastructure. The logistics industry association TLN is ‘very concerned’.
“The Netherlands will continue to grow both economically and demographically in the coming years. That growth will inevitably be accompanied by an increase in transport and traffic movements. To prevent the Netherlands from becoming congested, it is therefore necessary to invest in new infrastructure in time.”
TLN points to a warning from TNO that the annual costs for replacement and renovation are rising quickly. In total, approximately 50 billion euros more will be needed over the next three decades, according to TNO.
“Rijkswaterstaat also warned that there is more maintenance work than budget, and that without additional investments the number of breakdowns and emergency repairs will increase. This will result in major traffic disruption,” says TLN.
The ANWB also believes that more money is needed for the maintenance of the road network and other infrastructure. “3.6 billion euros is not enough to bring the infrastructure up to the desired level.”
According to the ANWB, many roads, bridges, viaducts and tunnels in the Netherlands are ‘at the end of their lifespan’. With the 3.6 billion that is now being earmarked, the union sees an increase in deferred maintenance. “With a greater risk of failure and malfunctions as a result.”