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Can an increase in parking fees improve quality of life?

It hopes the move will encourage residents and visitors to change how they travel to and around the city

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By reducing the space required for cars, it can create more room for greenery and play areas
By reducing the space required for cars, it can create more room for greenery and play areas

Amsterdam City Council is proposing to increase city parking rates in a bid to deter motorists from driving to the city centre. Once the increase comes into effect in April 2019, it will cost €7.50 per hour to park in the centre (currently €5).

 

According to the city council, many people still travel to and around Amsterdam by car but to keep the city “liveable and accessible”, these drivers “must choose a different way to get around”, it cautioned.

 

The proposal to increase parking fees for visitors is part of the Verordening Parkeerbelastingen 2019 (parking tax by-law), which will be discussed by the council committee for mobility, air quality and sustainability later this month.

 

More room for greenery and play areas

 

The city council plans to invest the additional revenue in measures that will improve the liveability and accessibility of the city. By restricting the space for motorised traffic in the city, it said it can create more room for greenery and play areas.

 

Many Amsterdammers choose not to use their cars or even make the conscious decision not to buy one.

 

Greater numbers of visitors are starting to use the park and ride facilities on the outskirts of the city, where they can park their cars at a discount and then take public transport to their destination.

 

To make alternatives to travelling by car more appealing, the council said it will be investing another €400m over the coming years in new trams, metros, zero-emissions buses and public transport infrastructure.

 

Cars are also seen as a problem for areas that were not made for them, such as the historic city centre and the 19th-century neighbourhoods.

"The council will invest another €400m over the coming years in new trams, metros, zero-emissions buses and public transport infrastructure"

Narrow canals and quays suffer from all this traffic. To combat this, the authority is proposing a “substantial increase” in the parking fees in these specific areas. The differences in the street parking fees between adjacent areas have been kept to a minimum in order to prevent a waterbed effect (shifting the traffic volume).

 

For residents who have guests travelling by car to visit them will also benefit from an increased allocation of visitor parking permits to 40 hours per month.

 

This applies to the city districts with a current maximum of 10- or 30 hours for the discount. As result visitors will be able to park at a 50 per cent discount for more hours each month.

 

During the third quarter of 2019, the College of Mayor and Alderpersons plan to submit additional proposals designed to reduce the number of cars in the city even further.

 

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