Total length Dutch roads stretches halfway to the moon

23/11/2010 15:00

Nearly 7 thousand kilometres were added to the Dutch road network over the past decade. With more than 137 thousand kilometres, the total length of the network stretches halfway to the moon.

Road network by road management authority

Road network by road management authority

Municipal authorities responsible for more than 90 percent of Dutch road network

Within a decade, the Dutch road network was extended by 5 percent. The extension almost entirely concerns new roads (mostly streets) in municipalities. In total, 6,708 kilometres of municipal roads were built since 2001. Municipal authorities are responsible for more than 90 percent of the Dutch road system. The total length of national and provincial roads grew by more than 200 kilometres; for instance, the A73 in the province of Limburg and the N11 in the province of South Holland were constructed in the past decade. The national government is responsible for only 4 percent of the road network.

Since the government transferred the responsibility for many roads to the level of provincial authorities in 2007, the construction of main roads was limited. Provinces – in turn –passed on responsibility to the lowest governmental level (municipalities) mainly because stretches of provincial roads were inside municipal boundaries. Most new roads were built in the provinces of Gelderland, North and South Holland and North Brabant.

Road system by type of carriageway

Road system by type of carriageway

More dual carriageways

Only 5 percent of Dutch roads are dual carriageways. The relative increase is more substantial for dual (11 percent) than for single carriageways (5 percent). Two in every three recently constructed dual carriageways (more than 400 kilometres) are inside municipal boundaries. They were built to open up new municipal districts and connect the main road network with the existing city centres.

Road density by municipality, 2010

Road density by municipality, 2010

Leiden has highest road density

The average road density in the Netherlands is 5 thousand metres per square kilometre of surface area. The highest road densities are found in the west and central part of the country and in large cities. The road density in the four major cities in the Netherlands ranges between 10 thousand in Rotterdam and over 13 thousand in The Hague. Nationwide, the road density runs from nearly 16 thousand for the city of Leiden to the West Frisian Island of Schiermonnikoog with just under one thousand. Along the coast between Hook of Holland and Alkmaar, road densities may also be high in smaller municipalities with a large percentage of built-up area.

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