Major improvements for coaches in Amsterdam

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Raft of changes – but lost parking will be replaced and diversionary routes put in place as key councillor values visiting coaches

Coach drivers travelling to Amsterdam can expect to see major changes in the next few years as the 50 measure new transport plan goes ahead.

In April this year Pieter Litjens, the Traffic and Transport Councillor in the Dutch capital presented the Implementation Agenda for Mobility to the city, giving the approval for major changes to the city centre that is claimed will allow better access and space for coaches.

Over the next three years the city will start implementing a large scale plan, involving 50 measures that will ensure that the growing city is able to properly cater for its tourists and residents.

The councillor wants to improve the quality and size of public spaces and put pressure on the local government to achieve better accessibility for coaches, which he says will improve the quality of life for the people of Amsterdam, as well as boosting trade for businesses.

Some of the improvements include a city centre environmental zone for coaches, which will involve restricting access in certain areas of the centre to other vehicles.

Its electronic stopping-period-detection experiment in Spuistraat will be extended throughout the city to other stops.

The H28 Oosterdokskade Noord coach stop will be expanded, the aim being to reduce heavy coach traffic flow throughout other parts of the city. A new coach terminal is also proposed in the Holendrecht area for scheduled international services.

A welcome development for coaches is the creation of a temporary turning facility on Ruijterkade, near the stop for the river cruises (H28 Oosterdokskade Noord). Any coaches coming from Piet Heinkade that need to use the stop, can use this facility to turn round. This avoids the need to reverse into the stop. This temporary situation will continue until a definitive turning loop has been constructed.

However, the 34 coach parking spaces at the Oosterdoksplatform will be removed on September 4. The City of Amsterdam is to construct a pier on the site of the present coach platform at Prins Hendrikkade. The alternate parking location is the PTA (Passenger Terminal Amsterdam) parking facility, which can accommodate up to 41 coaches.

The PTA, which is located at 27 Piet Heinkade, has a promotional rate of €40 for 24-hour parking until October 1 – after which the regular rate of €60 for 24 hours will be charged. There will however, be limited availability for coaches at the site on September 1, 3 and 10.

Looking ahead to the autumn, Muntplein will closed from September 7 to November 14. Track renewal work will start at Munt, at which point no traffic will be able to head in to the city via Vijzelstraat. Any coaches heading to Mr Visserplein will be diverted via Stadhouderskade and Weesperstraat. From here, coaches with passengers for Rokin, Dam and Damrak will be sent on a diversionary separate route. Other coaches (through traffic) will be routed through Valkenburgerstraat and Prins Hendrikkade. From October 5, only Vijzelstraat will be accessible from Singel, and it will not be possible to drive across to Amstel and/or Rokin. Prior to October 5, however, this will be possible.

Also, on September 1, the City of Amsterdam will commence preparations for construction work on the hotel at the top of Java-eiland. The parking spaces in that area (P9 Javakade) will be removed. Plans for both the temporary and the permanent layout of this area involve the creation of two boarding and alighting points for river-cruise passengers.