RTL Z analyzed the theme of mobility from the election programs of the six parties that participate in the first party leader debate on 28 February, on RTL 4 on Sunday evening. We checked the plans for the most important subjects for the coming years: public transport, aviation and traffic.
What is immediately noticeable when reading the election programs is that not every party has done the same. The PVV spends eight sentences on it, D66 no less than eight pages.
Then to the content. All parties underline the importance of public transport, but have very different emphases. Geert Wilders’ party especially wants public transport to remain affordable, D66 advocates, among other things, the construction of no fewer than three new high-speed lines and a train connection between Utrecht and Breda.
High on the wish list at GroenLinks, SP and CDA the Lelylijn: a new, faster rail connection between Amsterdam and Groningen. The solution for the busy public transport in the Randstad is an extension of the light rail network, as can be read from Mark Ruttes VVD, among others.
The parties also disagree about who should arrange it all. It will come as no surprise that the VVD is in favor of more public tenders on the railways. This means that private companies will play a greater role. At the other end of the spectrum, there is the SP, which is arguing to merge NS and ProRail back into one state-owned company.
The CDA and D66 are in between, with their plea for accessibility to sparsely populated areas and good connections by train or bus, for example. These wishes can usually only be fulfilled if the government co-pays.
That is no objection at all for the SP. In any case, they see transport as something that can best be arranged by the state, the party of party leader Lilian Marijnissen also wants to nationalize KLM.
Aviation itself is also a potential divisive fungus during formation. GroenLinks is against growth, as far as Jesse Klaver’s party is concerned, there will never be as much flying as before the corona crisis. Lelystad Airport will not open, if it is up to the party. This also applies to the SP.
Sigrid Kaagse D66 believes that the airport should only be opened if this does not generate more pollution, Wopke Hoekstra’s CDA is ‘provisionally’ against further growth in aviation and is therefore not explicitly in favor of opening Lelystad Airport. That is only the VVD, it is not a theme for the PVV.
This does not apply to the flight tax, the PVV is the only one of the six that wants to get rid of it. The VVD wants to keep it going until airline companies have to pay excise duty for the fuel they use.
The current tax of less than 8 euros per flight does not go far enough for D66, SP and GroenLinks. D66 wants the tax to also apply to transfer travelers, the other two want people who fly a lot to pay more. The CDA only wants this if it is regulated in a European context.
Flying is difficult anyway, but taking the car is of course still possible. And it must remain that way, if it is up to VVD, CDA and PVV. The three parties come together when it comes to more asphalt, to tackle the ‘biggest bottlenecks’.
The fact that this will lead to more nitrogen emissions is of secondary importance. The PVV wants all ‘obstructive’ rules about nitrogen, for example, ‘immediately off the table’.
The VVD does not want to count nitrogen that is released during maintenance, because otherwise safety could be at risk and the CDA considers nitrogen only relevant in relation to agriculture.
Obviously, things are different on the left side of the political spectrum. D66 wants to create more nature to compensate for nitrogen emissions, GroenLinks wants emissions to be halved by 2030. The SP wants to set up a separate program to reduce emissions on the one hand, so that housing construction can continue on the other.
Peak time charge
Of course, all that building, asphalting and laying out nature has to be paid for. And who will pay for that, is always the question. The one who drives on the busiest stretch of road at the busiest time of the day is a frequently heard solution. Both D66 and GroenLinks are in favor of such a rush-hour charge. They find the VVD and the PVV on their path, these parties are absolutely against it.
The VVD does want a kilometer charge, but especially for electric drivers. After all, they do not pay motor vehicle tax and therefore do not contribute to the maintenance of roads. The liberals want to solve this with a kilometer charge, with the party having the CDA as an ally.
D66 wants to stimulate electric driving even more, with purchase subsidies for electric cars, for example. GroenLinks is going the furthest in the campaign to switch to electric driving: it wants a ban on the sale of cars that run on fossil fuel within ten years.
However your car is powered, for some, speed is the most important thing. The PVV goes the furthest in this regard, which party promises its voters 140 kilometers per hour as the maximum speed.
‘Vroemfeest’ VVD, which has already suffered some sensitive defeats in this file, is sticking to 130 kilometers per hour. If nitrogen emissions are lowered, the liberals want to allow all-day driving on the highways where possible.
At D66 one is for a lower maximum speed of 100 km per hour. GroenLinks wants a maximum speed of 30 in built-up areas, for the sake of road safety.
The big question is how feasible the plans are in terms of finances and environmental regulations. Some of the answers will come on Monday, when the Central Planning Bureau (CPB) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) come up with their calculations of the plans.