Zuid-Holland inspires foreign partners with its clean air approach

Zuid-Holland is moving in the right direction with regard to improving the air quality. By sharing experiences and learning from foreign partners, we can book even better results. That is what Regional Minister Rik Janssen said during an international conference on 19 September in Douai, near Lille in France.

Janssen was one of the speakers during the ‘Séquence transfrontalière du séminaire Qualité de l’Air’ (seminar on Cross-border collaboration on air quality), organised by the French region Haute-de-France. Besides Regional Minister Janssen, among others representatives of the region Haute-de-France, the Secretariat General of the Benelux, the city of Geneva and the Eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Doornik spoke.  “Since the start of our programme Air in 2009 (‘Lucht in 2009’), the concentration of nitrogen oxide in Zuid-Holland has decreased by 20%. The particulate matter has decreased by 27% to below the limit value. The World Health Organisation, however, has stricter guidelines, so our efforts will continue to be necessary.

Public transport

In the field of transport, the Province has determined that the emissions of al buses have to be nil as of 2030. That means that only electric or hydrogen buses will be allowed to drive from then on. In the meantime, the first promising steps in that direction have been taken. Our aim is the use of ‘zero-emission’ buses in the case of new tenders.  The new transporter in Dordrecht has informed us that the complete schedule will be carried out by 45 emission-free buses. All 23 buses in Leiden will be electric as well.

Stedenbaan and N59

In 2008, the Province and other public and private partners started the Stedenbaan project, with the aim to make the city centres better accessible and to limit the commuter traffic by car.

Another example is the N59. This provincial road will be transformed into an energy-neutral road, in which sustainability will be combined with efficiency and safety. Zuid-Holland, the Province of Zeeland, local municipalities and companies are collaborating on this project.


The Province maintains a large part of the waterways in Zuid-Holland and currently is the forerunner with concepts such as the 'smart waterway’ and 'smart management centres'. Sensors and camera images constantly show which vessel is where, where it is busy, and what the best time is to open a bridge or lock. Subsequently, this information can be shared with the road network and route systems, resulting in optimum through-flow for road users as well.  At international level, the Province collaborates with the ‘CLean INland Shipping’ (CLINSH) programme, aimed at testing innovative technologies, alternative fuels, and shore supply facilities in practice. Zuid-Holland also works with the partners of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Rhine-Alpine (EGTC) on an efficient and clean transport along the Rotterdam-Genoa corridor.