From 16 to 22 September 2022, European Mobility Week was held with the central theme of sustainable mobility. Nine major employers in The Hague and the surrounding area made this theme concrete by encouraging their employees to change their travel behaviour: not traveling (working from home), avoiding rush hour, cycling or using public transport. And with success! In this week, a total of 70,000 km less was traveled on the A4 around The Hague and Rijswijk, resulting in at least 3% fewer traffic jams. Based on this percentage and the average emissions of a passenger car, this led to a reduction of 14 tons of CO2.
The Hague employers Aegon, ANWB, NN, PostNL, Shell, Siemens and T-Mobile participated from The Hague Connected! In addition, the European Patent Office and TUI have worked from Rijswijk for European Mobility Week. Together, the companies represent approximately 10,000 employees. Various activities have been organized to encourage employees to travel sustainably. Such as a fresh breakfast for cyclists, a bicycle repair shop on location for a bicycle check and minor repairs. A map with the P&R locations around the head office as a talking point, an Eco-chat in which a mobility topic was discussed daily, a ‘bicycle-try-offer-pool’ and a discount for the purchase of a bicycle. Also extra attention for the mobility policy from the employers in which sustainable mobility such as partial transport and public transport are highlighted. “This is a good example of how we companies can make an impact together. The mobility week is in line with the previously initiated path of The Hague Connected!, and we will continue to work for this in the future.” says Dirk De Bilde, CEO Siemens Netherlands.
In collaboration with Zuid-Holland Bereikbaar, Rijkswaterstaat carefully looked at all data prior to, during and a month after the action week. The conclusions: During this period, a total of 70,000 km less was traveled on the A4, A12 and N14. Based on this distance and the average emissions of a passenger car, this leads to a reduction of up to 14 tons of CO2. Marijn ’t Hart, RWS senior adviser on Urban Accessibility, zooms in on the details: “We know that the morning rush hour in particular involves a lot of commuting. From the direction of Leiden (A4) and Zoetermeer (A12) there is a consistent decrease. These are the directions from which most employees of these companies travel. It is therefore plausible that European Mobility Week contributed to reducing the intensity. The effect on traffic jams has been greater. Without the extreme days (1 per week) there was certainly 3% less traffic jams. Including the extreme days, even at least 5% less.”
High ambition has been fulfilled
The Economic Board The Hague, driver for the economy in The Hague, supports the initiative The Hague Connected, which motto is: ‘The Hague: Clean and accessible for everyone.’ Marjan van Loon, President-Director Shell Nederland: ‘The motto is not chosen randomly. The big companies really want to make a difference and can do that. The level of ambition for the European Mobility Week was high: the aim was to show that week that we can increase the accessibility of the city and reduce CO2 emissions by spreading and avoiding it, and we succeeded.”