Economically strong regions require good accessibility and links to and from other European regions. At the same time, they need to address environmental and sustainability issues, such as noise reduction and reduction of CO2 and particulate emissions. That is why the province of Zuid-Holland has set reliable and clean transport of both goods and people as one of its priorities for the coming years.
Making Zuid-Holland more competitive
Good accessibility is vital to strengthening the competitiveness of Zuid-Holland and promoting economic growth. Goods from the port and its logistical and trading hubs need to be transported in the most efficient, cleanest and fastest possible way to wider Europe and vice versa. The further development of the corridors to the east (Betuwe Rail Link and the Lek and Rhine Rivers) and the south (via Noord-Brabant, Limburg, Belgium to the Mediterranean) is an important part of this ambition. Therefore, Zuid-Holland is a member of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Rhine-Alpine (EGTC), founded to represent regional interests in the development of the corridor between Rotterdam and Genoa, to develop joint projects, to share knowledge and to represent the regions in the formation of the European corridor.
Innovation in sustainable transport technology
Though Zuid-Holland already has high-quality regional networks for freight transport, passenger transport and public transport, it is lagging behind competing regions in the field of passenger traffic. For this reason, the province aims to tackle infrastructure bottlenecks, improve traffic safety and to construct the already planned infrastructure.
The province is seeking cooperation with businesses and knowledge institutes in order to create smart and innovative public transport solutions. Zuid-Holland is looking for funding for specific projects, for example projects that deal with what is often referred to as ‘the first and last mile’: the short first or last part of a commute that tends to take a relatively long time compared to the major part of the commute. Finally, opportunities are being explored for a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) Urban Mobility that would help to search for smart and innovative solutions for sustainable urban mobility.
Transition to clean and smart transport
Cleaner freight traffic and passenger traffic can both make a major contribution towards the mitigation of air pollution. Zuid-Holland is therefore involved in projects that aim to make inland shipping and public transport more sustainable and to create sustainable infrastructure: the CLINSH project, hydrogen buses and the N59 Energy Highway.
Sustainable inland shipping: CLINSH
Achieving cleaner transport to improve the air and environmental quality around ports and waterways is an urgent matter. Efforts to clean up the inland shipping sector are now under way with the CLean INland SHipping (CLINSH) project. Within this project, Zuid-Holland joins Dutch, Belgian, German and British partners to make inland waterway shipping cleaner over the next four years. The province is lead partner in the project, set up to show that emission levels on inland waterways can be reduced, by testing innovative technologies, alternative fuels and the ‘walstroom’ shore-side electricity supply system.
Sustainable public transport: hydrogen buses
Investments in intelligent (public transport) networks can reduce emissions of particulate matter and noise, improving the urban quality of life. Innovative forms of public transport, such as the small-scale use of hydrogen buses, can also be introduced in rural areas. Zuid-Holland is cooperating with the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) to introduce hydrogen buses and acquire European funding. FCH JU is a public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies. The 3EMOTION project already obtained 1.6 million euros in EU funding for running four fuel cell buses between Middelharnis and the south of Rotterdam. Zuid-Holland strives to have more fuel cell buses on the province’s roads in the near future.
Sustainable infrastructure: the N59 Energy Highway
Pairing sustainability with efficiency and safety, the N59 road that runs through the municipalities of Goeree-Overflakkee and Schouwen-Duiveland will be transformed into an energy-neutral road. In this project, Zuid-Holland, the neighbouring province of Zeeland, local municipalities and businesses have teamed up. The N59 is of the utmost importance for the economic development of Goeree-Overflakkee and Zeeland and therefore needs to be a well-functioning part of the infrastructure in that area. Given the national and local ambitions for energy-neutrality, the transformation of the N59 will be an example of creating sustainable, efficient and safe infrastructure.