Ladies and gentlemen,






Full text


Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the Netherlands and welcome to

Utrecht, host of the 19th European Conference on Mobility Management. I am honoured to be able to welcome you here today, in the beautiful city of Utrecht. This city is one of the biggest hubs in the country and therefore mobility management is a hot topic here. To indicate this, let me give you some interesting facts about the city:

- Every day, over 100.000 bikers pass through its city centre.

- There are almost a thousand shared vehicles in Utrecht, which makes it the number one in the country

- And lastly, every year over 88 million people use the city’s central station.

So it is fair to say that Utrecht is a suitable place to organise a conference on mobility


Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that our

ministry was the initiator of the very first ECOMM in 1997. We did this because we thought it was important for mobility management to get the attention it deserved by promoting the exchange of knowledge between Member States. And I'm proud we are here today, almost 20 years later, to, once again, share experiences and discuss all aspects of mobility management with such a

variety of countries. As a start, I will share some of our own experiences with mobility

management in the Netherlands.

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Around 2010 we, the national government, saw that accessibility issues were becoming more and more urgent. That is why we keep investing in new roads; about 88 billion euro until 2028. But especially around cities, there is only limited


we started to look for ways to optimise the use of existing roads and realised that this is something we cannot do by ourselves. We knew that we had to address mobility issues in a more integrated way.

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So we started looking at the entire transport system: both the demand and the supply side

and especially the interaction between these two; this is basically what mobility management is all about.

Furthermore, we focused on the user in both the analysis of the problem and the search for cost effective solutions, taking into account the needs and behaviour of travellers and transport


Finally, cooperation among all relevant actors, like businesses, local and national governments, is essential.


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With this in mind we, the national government, started the so called ‘Optimising Use’ programme in 2010. A unique aspect of this program is that both local and national governments and

businesses make all the decisions together.

Businesses, local governments and the national government all have an equal say in the decision-making process. In addition to this, 50% of the funding for the programme comes from the

national government, the other 50% is paid for by local governments and businesses. A short video will show you what it is we do in this programme.

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The initial results indicate that the programme is effective.

Generally speaking we can already say that

around three million times a year, people in the Netherlands are avoiding the rush hour.

So we’re on the right track. That is why the

ministry decided about a year ago to continue the programme.

In this new approach, we as a national

government have a different role to play. Rather than deciding what the problem is and which

solution is suitable, we facilitate this search for solutions by local governments and businesses. Adapting to this new role can be a challenge at times, because it requires different skills and a different attitude of our people as well as another structure of our organisation.


If you are interested in the challenges we face or if you want to share your own experiences on the matter, do not hesitate to visit our stand during the entire conference or one of the moving

sessions that deal with projects from our program.

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You may ask yourself why we are doing this. In the end, it is because society demands that we are an effective and efficient government. The problems users are faced with are not limited to those parts of the transport system we are

accountable for. Therefore we need to broaden our scope and work together with all relevant stakeholders.

Another important reason why we are doing this has to do with various developments within our society. People and organisations are becoming


more and more vocal; they want to be included in the decision-making process.

Another factor is the growing rate of

technological innovations. These innovations can offer new kinds of solutionsto problems. But

often they are developed by businesses, meaning that we, as a government, have to facilitate

rather than develop ourselves.

Furthermore, because of the growing access to information, people demand to know exactly when and where traffic jams are or will occur, and they want to be offered an alternative. To put it short: users want easy access to reliable, up-to-date information, as well as flexibility.

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This is the underlying motivation for the

programme I have been explaining. We believe the problems we are faced with today and all the


developments we are seeing in society require an integrated approach to accessibility issues.

Therefore, we are committed to this approach.

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We face major challenges in and around our cities, and the traditional approach is no longer sufficient. Even though new infrastructure will always be needed in some way, we need to do more. That is why we are looking for new

methods and approaches to ensure our mobility systems and our travel behaviour are adapted to the future. We do this by looking at the entire transport system, focusing on the user and working together with local governments and businesses that contribute resources of their own.


That is the lesson from the Netherlands.

I invite you all to share the lessons from your own experiences during the upcoming days. Because I believe it is important to share our knowledge and experiences. By learning from each other, we can improve the work we are all doing.

I hope you enjoy your stay at this conference and in the beautiful city of Utrecht. Thank you.





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