Twelve perspectives on the Lely line | opinion

‘That it gets as busy here as in Randstaden is pure fear talk.’ PHOTO ARCHIVE LC

Does the Nordic region need new houses more than a new railway? Does Lelylijn actually bring housing plans closer? Some sketches for the future.

First, the economy. Until recently, Pecunia during Route IV was not the most worrying topic. ‘Wobke-Wiebes Fonden’, National Growth Fund was there for structural projects. Corona then threw a key in, and with the economic crisis and the situation in Ukraine, this project is going nowhere.

Nevertheless, courage and ambition for the future are needed. There will come a time after the brutal raid of Putin and his supporters. Scarce funds from the Dutch state go in part to our increasing defense contribution to NATO. You know: ‘Weapons of peace’. On the other hand, money does not have to be a breaking point at current interest rates. Looking further (governing is foresight) there are a few factual circumstances. Let me outline some perspectives as an amateur-sense observer.

primarily the ‘bottleneck’ must be solved on the railway line via the Zwolle-Meppel connection. All train traffic runs through this single connection; if problems arise there, northern Holland is flat. The new Lower Saxony line (Enschede – Groningen via Emmen) to be built is an improvement, but it is located in eastern Holland.

Other would extend from Lelystad to Groningen to ensure that the white spot that the railway card has in the Netherlands is resolved. Places like Emmeloord and Drachten have the right to a train station.

Thirdly smaller towns on the stretch (Lemmer, Leek, Hoogkerk) will see the pressure from car commuter traffic decrease; beneficial for reducing CO2 emissions.

Fourth ‘Airport Groningen-Eelde’ station is an option. Great for accessibility.

Fifth travel time between Groningen and Amsterdam is shortened. A speed of more than 200 kilometers per hour leads to a journey of just over an hour. This means that working in Randstaden and living in the Nordic region will be an attractive opportunity. Our country needs housing, especially in Randstaden, but precisely there is no construction site due to urbanization.

So it seems sixth logical to realize housing where people want to live at affordable costs, and that effect will be amplified by the Lely line.

Seventh it also solves the pressure on Randstaden: less crowded population, less polluting Randstad car traffic and a better environmental living environment. If spaces on Lelylijn are open to new residents, it will give housing construction a significant boost. Good for the local and regional economy.

eighth all the more so as many experiences suggest that jobs follow people and that there is an improved distribution of wealth.

Ninth we must dare to think ‘European’, given the network’s opportunity to continue to the German economic north. To places like Oldenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Berlin and towards Denmark. The basic railway network at our eastern neighbors is already there, and the route between the city of Groningen and Nieuweschans / Leer does not require a large allocation.

The foreign aspect applies, tenth for rail freight transport at night.

For travelers, eleventh , the argument is still valid that the current policy in the EU is aimed at getting them on the train within a radius of 750 kilometers from the plane, in addition to the package of measures to reduce CO2 emissions. The European Structural Funds must be used, but they can be found in Brussels.

Lelylijn skeptics fear that after the realization, all kinds of defects from Randstaden will engulf us, and the infamous benefits will disappear. Our peace and space, social cohesion, rural expanses, nature reserves, recreational opportunities.

That it gets as busy here as it is is pure scare propaganda. Randstad’s population density is 965 per square kilometer, while in the north it is 209 per square kilometer. Although 220,000 additional homes will be built from the northern Delta Plan, 80,000 will be built in Flevoland, 50,000 in Groningen and 45,000 each in Friesland and Drenthe. It increases our density to 246 per. square kilometers; it is still almost four times smaller than in Randstad ( source: The spatial faculty University of Groningen

And, by the twelfth If driving on electricity is so promoted, why not on rails? Generations after this also have the right to good transport connections; The Lely line fits seamlessly into this.

Will I still be able to see the opening when I’m 67? Time will tell. On the other hand, every five years delay can cost a billion more than previous related projects. You do not even have to be an amateur observer for it.

Jan Th. Lensen lives in Heerenveen

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