The frustration among many travelers is great. Everyone agrees: something needs to be done about the accessibility of the north. The political parties also have their ideas about this.
We presented them with the statement in the KiesKompas: “The central government must allocate extra money to improve the railway lines with the north of the Netherlands.” Parties can choose between strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree or no opinion.
What seems? All parties believe that extra money should go to the northern railway lines. Completely agree: D66, PvdD, BBB, BIJ1, SP, JA21, GroenLinks/PvdA, BVNL, CDA, ChristenUnie and Volt. Agree: NSC, 50PLUS, VVD, FVD, PVV, SGP and DENK.
That sounds nice, that all parties agree on extra money. But there is quite a difference in how they think the money should be distributed. A number of parties specifically address the ‘bottle neck’ Meppel. Such as D66, which says: “We are putting an end to the disruptions on the Meppel-Zwolle route.”
Ultimately, politicians in The Hague see three options for a better connection with the north: the Lely Line, the Lower Saxony Line and therefore the bottleneck at Meppel.
“I think that as a Drenthe, you would benefit most from investing in existing rail,” says RTV Drenthe reporter Serge Vinkenvlieg. On behalf of the Drenthe broadcaster, he has been following developments on and around the railway for years.
By investing in existing track, Vinkenvlieg is referring to the situation surrounding the track in Meppel. “I would say: first solve Meppel-Zwolle. But then make the entire railway line faster, then you can also reach Randstad faster.”
There has also been talk about the Lower Saxony Line for years. A connection between Groningen and Almelo, ultimately leading to Germany.
“That’s what you’re waiting for in Emmen, for example,” Vinkenvlieg explains. “I would go for that second. Look, in Central Drenthe it is not of much use, but it is certainly an asset for the Peat Colonies and East Groningen.”
As far as Vinkenvlieg is concerned, the Lely line is at the bottom of the list of benefits. According to him, a fantastic railway line, but one that is not of much use to Drenthe. “Except in the head of Drenthe. So Zuidlaren, Vries or Roden.”
The Lelylijn is the plan for a stretch of track between Groningen and Lelystad, on which trains can travel up to 200 kilometers per hour.