Netherlands to cut national speed limit to 62mph in bid to fight climate change

Samuel Lovett
Getty

Speeds limits are set to be reduced by almost 20mph on Dutch roads in an attempt to cut emissions, the Netherlands’ government has said.

From 2020 the current top speed of 81mph (130kph) will be reduced to 62mph (100kph) between 6am and 7pm.

However, the old limit will remain in place overnight.

The reduction is being introduced as part of the government’s plan to cut emissions in the face of mounting nationwide pollution, which has seen a number of infrastructure projects placed on hold.

Thousands of plans for roads, airports and housing were affected in May after the Council of State, a government advisory body, ruled that existing measures to reduce nitrous oxide and ammonia pollution were insufficient.

The government has said that it wants to build 75,000 homes next year and ministers have been searching for a solution to cut the country’s pollution levels.

The measure to cut the daytime speed limit has been described as a “short-term package” by prime minister Mark Rutte.

“I’m happy we managed to work it out together in a decent way,” he told Dutch public broadcaster NOS after agreeing the reduction with his government coalition partners.

“Nobody likes this, but it really plays a greater role here,” he said. “It is necessary to prevent the Netherlands from locking and that jobs are unnecessarily lost.”

He added that no one in his party would be able to “look themselves in the mirror anymore” if people lost their jobs before Christmas so they could continue driving at the higher speed.

The law change would see the country adopt one of the lowest speed limits in the European Union.​