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The Hague

The Hague is a city of 483,000 inhabitants, located in the province of South Holland in the west of the Netherlands. It is the third largest city in the country after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Thanks to the well managed public transport, the city only faces serious traffic congestion on sunny weekends for the beach visitors...

 

It is well known as the home of over 150 international (legal) organizations, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

The city demonstrates a modal split per trips made of 30 percent pedestrians, 16 percent cycling, 17 percent public transport, and 37 percent private car use.

The Hague’s transport policy is aimed at increasing the modal share of public transport (by some 40 percent), cycling (by 30 percent) and walking over the next decade. Spatial developments and new housing and workplaces are therefore being located within the existing city boundaries, since a compact urban environment favours bicycle use, walking and public transport as attractive alternatives to the private car.

The overall aim is to maintain good access to the important (economic) centres in The Hague, making it an attractive and competitive environment for inhabitants, visitors and businesses. By 2040, The Hague should be a “climate neutral” city.

The city has invested in the realization of a comprehensive bicycle path network, which includes excellent parking facilities in the inner city and at public transport stations. With the recent expansion of RandstadRail, The Hague has also invested in a fast, reliable and comfortable light rail network that connects the city with the outlying regions. Park and Ride facilities are situated at the edge of the city, enabling a quick and comfortable change from car to public transport, while a well-designed road network encourages people to use routes that divert through traffic from residential areas. The city has also introduced an environmental zone for freight traffic.

In the field of clean fuels and vehicles, the city has relied on financial incentives to promote the exchange of older vehicles for those fuelled by natural gas and electricity. It has also introduced clean natural gas buses in the public transport system, filling points for natural gas, and clean gas and electric vehicles in the municipality car fleet.

Progress in implementing the above measures has been good when a broad political coalition has been in place to endorse the introduction of cleaner and greener mobility. However, future plans to introduce a national road pricing scheme — an essential measure to limit the growth of car traffic and congestion and to stimulate alternative transport modes — will be challenged by the outcome of the national elections. It is highly unlikely that the foreseen government, with any constellation of coalition members, will introduce road pricing.

To implement the above measures The Hague collaborated with the national government of the Netherlands, the city region, the cyclists union, operators of natural gas filling points, the operator of the public transport network (HTM), employers organizations and citizens groups.

Summary finalized: August 2010

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