Drivers underestimate Oosterweel activities
A majority of car drivers underestimates the effect of the Oosterweel activities and the extension of the Antwerp Ring, starting this year. According to a large-scale survey by mobility organization VAB “drivers underestimate the duration of the project and the traffic disruption as a consequence.”
Even their expectations are unrealistic: half of the interviewees think traffic-jams in and about Antwerp will diminish. Oosterweel will be one of Europe’s largest construction sites.
5 to 7 years of trouble
One of the most remarkable results is that three out of ten interviewees think that the activities will be finished after maximum three years, whereas they will at least take five or even seven years. A quarter of all drivers underestimates the coming traffic disruptions although some 35 per cent is aware that traffic problems will be severe unless sufficient measures will be taken.
Three out of ten are willing to travel by other means when there are reliable alternatives. 44% of them considers combining different transport means a possible alternative. Almost 40% says to continue using the car. Striking fact is that only 24% considers the electric bicycle a valuable alternative.
Park and ride
“Points of interest will be capacity, frequency and quality of public transport”, explains VAB spokesman Maarten Matienko. “We also have to provide sufficient park and ride zones and make sure they are far enough from the city center, otherwise drivers will get stuck on their way to them.”
“But we absolutely must convince more people to put their car aside because avoiding rush hours will become impossible: actually streets in Antwerp are constantly overloaded.” Today 75% of all trips happen by car. “This should decrease to 50% because we have reached the limit of what people find acceptable”, continues Matienko.
No financial contribution
Another conclusion of the VAB survey is that drivers are not prepared to pay. Frequent users of the Antwerp Ring do want the Oosterweel connection but without any financial contribution for using tunnels for instance.