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Environmental impacts of the draft Dutch National Transport Policy Document

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This report documents an analysis of the environmental impacts of policy proposals taken up in the new Dutch National Transport Policy Document for improvement of accessibility and reliability of the main motorway network in the Netherlands. Major conclusions drawn from this analysis are that pricing policies proposed in the policy document effectively improve accessibility and reduce environmental impacts due to road traffic. The size of environmental benefits of the proposed kilometre charge, however, is determined by the final design of the policy measure. Furthermore, the policy document proposes secondary road expansion be state-funded if this would mean a contribution to reducing congestion on the main motorway network. However, before state-funding is decided, more research on the costs and benefits of secondary road network expansion is necessary, including the transfer of environmental and social problems from the main motorway network to the secondary road network. Furthermore, it would seem important to have local and regional authorities pay attention to noise hotspots in their transport policy development, since without additional measures, the number of noise hotspots along secondary roads will sharply increase. Finally, further research on giving priority to infrastructure projects within the proposed infrastructure investment in combination with pricing policies packages is recommended. Combinations of pricing and expanding existing infrastructure may reduce the need to construct new motorway links, reduce negative impacts on nature conservation areas and rural landscapes, and result in higher net economic benefits.

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