Focus is growing on a cycle superhighway to connect two of the North’s largest cities: the Westerkwartier’s VVD faction is calling for a planned cycling highway in Groningen to extend to Friesland.
Translation by Thomas Ansell
Ina van Deventer, a member of the VVD faction in the municipal council in the Westerkwatier, has called for the planned ‘cycling highway’ between Groningen and Leek to be extended continue on to Drachten, and then possibly even to Leeuwarden. “Why stop at Leek? The original plan laid out a connection between Groningen and Drachten. Perhaps it could even then go through to Leeuwarden.”
According to the Leeuwarder Courant, Van Deventer cited the fact that travelling by bike is becoming faster and is growing in popularity, which would make linking the cities a logical move. “It’s an extremely sustainable and very healthy form of transport. We should be thinking of its possibilities, not its limitations”, Van Deventer said.
The plan for a cycle highway has been around for several years, both at provincial level and in the former municipality of Leek, which is now a part of the new Westerkwartier municipality (along with Zuidhorn and Grootegast). The new municipality is interested in seeing the cycling highway follow the route of the A7, which goes through Midwolde, Oostwold, Lettelbert, and Hoogkerk.
However, the plans led to a clash with the province late last year: the province of Groninger preferred a different route over the Roderwolderdijk, which is estimated to be 3.5 million euros cheaper. Now that the provincial elections are over, talks among all of the involved parties are going ahead, but alderperson Geertje Dijkstra-Jacobi emphasised that the financing has to be sorted out before a decision is made.
Whether the eventual route via Drachten and on to Leeuwarden will happen is unclear, as this would involve securing the support of more municipalities and the province of Friesland. At the moment, there are no further talks around the subject.