Fourteen infrastructure projects have been delayed for at least 2.5 years due to the lack of experts to perform the mandatory nitrogen calculations. This is what Secretary Mark Harpers (Infrastructure) wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives.
Because of the shortage, the minister said, the ministry had to choose which projects should be given priority and which ones should wait.
Among other things, the extension of the A58 motorway between Eindhoven and Tilburg and that of the A6 motorway between Almere Ostvarders and Lelystad has been delayed. It is not yet known when the planning phase of these projects will end.
Harbers is prioritizing eleven other projects, including work at the intersection of Hoevelaken and A1/A30 in Barneveld. Projects that improve road safety or remove major congestion bottlenecks are the first to follow. At the earliest, there will be nitrogen accounts for all eleven projects at the beginning of 2025.
Not only the number of nitrogen experts, but also the maximum area of nitrogen emission can mean a restriction for new projects. According to Harpers, there is enough nitrogen space to fulfill eleven projects. He asserts that planning for these projects could also change, as he expects the nitrogen profile to remain an “uncertain factor” in the coming years.
In July last year, the Cabinet decided that nitrogen should be compensated up to 25 kilometers from the source. Before that, there was still a distance of 5 kilometers. As a result of this decision, it was necessary to make new calculations, especially for infrastructure projects.
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