The Groningen business community is calling for more clarity about the future of the ring road plans for the city, even if that means completely closing the section of the road for a year to complete construction.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that a group of retail and business organisations has said that they would prefer for the section of the ring road to be closed altogether for a year in order to finish the project more quickly than for it to take seven years to finish.
The statement is part of a new strategic agenda created by four regional business organisations – Zuidoost, Noord-Oost, West and the Groningen City Club – and the Noordelijke Online Ondernemers (NOM), MKB Noord (Small to medium Enterprises North) and business networking organisation VNO-NCW Noord.
Accessibility and liveability
Klaas Holtman, a representative for the West business association, told the Dagblad, “We would rather have it done more quickly and well enough with more rigorous measures like adding more park and ride facilities and buses than to be really meticulous and take ten years to finish, but we know that it can’t be completed within a year, and that the region has to remain accessible and liveable in the meantime.”
But residents who live in the vicinity of the ring road feel very differently, many of whom are increasingly vocal about the amount of noise associated with the construction works. Three residential associations – De Linie, De Meeuwen and De Oosterpoort – have expressed concerns that if road works are accelerated, then construction could be held at any hours and cause more disruptions.
Municipal parties are also calling for more answers about the future of the plans, specifically about whether residents would be able to be accommodated in hotels if need be. “Residents currently have to prove that their living conditions are being negatively impacted by the construction, so the contractor needs to be more flexible.” The municipal factions also want residents to be more actively involved in the plans.
Roadworks on the southern section of the ring road have been brought to a halt since the summer because it had become clear that it would take longer to complete than planned.