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EU Urban Mobility Observatory

According to the traffic and transport plan act passed in 1998 (Planwet Verkeer en Vervoer) provinces in the Netherlands are required to translate national policies to their regional policies. Municipalities have to include the key elements of the provincial and national policy in their local transport policy. Provinces and municipalities often get subsidy from a higher-level authority. This financial incentive allows for much co-operation.

 Larger municipalities draft a new plan approximately once every 10 years. Increasingly, they work with a dynamic policy agenda that is updated annually or biannually. It is also becoming more common that there is no separate mobility policy developed any more, but that this is developed as part of a spatial and environmental policy plan. The government has set an example with SVIR (National Infrastructure and Spatial Planning)

In the Netherlands there is a long tradition of drafting urban traffic and transport plans. Research by CROW-KpVV [1] in 2012 showed that the current urban traffic and transport plans in the Netherlands largely correspond to the SUMP Guidelines. In that study the plans of eight municipalities were analysed, ranging from a strong urban municipality to a rural municipality. The study concluded that possible improvements are:

  • The inclusion of climate and energy goals in traffic and transport plans;
  • Development of  scenarios;
  • Cost-effectiveness analyses;
  • Cost-consciousness;
  • Formulating (SMART) measurable goals;
  • Integrated and interactive approach;
  • Applying all steps of the policy cycle.

The last element is difficult because in most municipalities the different stages of the policy cycle (SUMP cycle) are carried out in different processes and documented in different reports. There are only a few plans in which concrete measures, the responsibilities and funding are recorded.

By 2019, a new law will be launched concerning the environment (de Omgevingswet). This law replaces 26 laws concerning spatial planning and a lot of regulations, including the traffic and transport plan act passed in 1998. One of the elements of the new law is an environmental vision and plan. This is also the strategic plan for mobility matters. More and more municipalities already are working according the new law and develop an environmental vision and plan. More information about this new law:

[1] SUMP: What's in it for me?, CROW/KPVV, author Goudappel Coffeng, 2012

Member state contact

Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment



Last updated: 28 May 2019