Taxi drivers blocked several roads in the center of Amsterdam.Photo: Take a Taxi

The Amsterdam city council approved the cut in the Weesperstraat during the council meeting yesterday. Due to the vote, the Weesperstraat will be closed for six weeks, from 10 June to 21 July, closed to through traffic.

Coalition parties GroenLinks, D23 and the Labor Party (PvdA) voted in favor of the pilot. “For more than twenty years, residents have been told that the Weesperstraat will become a liveable street. It is therefore good that after years of talking we are finally taking action. The city is ultimately there for people, not just through vehicles,” said GroenLinks councilor Zeeger Ernsting during the city council meeting.

“The Weesperstraat pilot can provide good insights into whether this measure can work to improve the quality of life in this street,” is the opinion of PvdA councilor Farley Asruf. “It is an exciting pilot. It is precisely because of the possible nuisance that people may experience that it is important that relevant data is collected.”

Accessibility Opposition parties do not agree with the coalition parties. For example, during the municipal council meeting, Denk councilor Süleyman Koyuncu submitted a motion calling on the municipal executive to postpone the pilot. YES21 council member Kevin Kreuger even filed a motion to get the plan off the table in its entirety. According to him, this cut will cause poor accessibility, which will be felt by both residents and entrepreneurs. Both motions failed to find a majority and were rejected.

This means that Weesperstraat will actually be closed to through traffic for six weeks this summer, much to the disappointment of several taxi drivers. “I am not surprised, but this is of course completely worthless,” says taxi operator Stef Keij. “The only option left now to stop this insane project is going to court.”

Blockade More than a hundred taxi drivers yesterday expressed their dissatisfaction with the traffic policy of the municipality by blocking various roads during a protest. Weesperplein and Sarphatistraat, among others, suffered. As a result, traffic in part of the center was halted for some time, as was part of public transport. “Apologies to anyone who may be impacted by any delay to go home,” Keij tweeted.

“The reason that all Amsterdam taxi drivers are once again forced to take action is because the municipality does not want to take the issue seriously. Major thoroughfares are closed, which means that we can no longer pick up and drop off customers safely. The cut in the Weesperstraat will soon be added to that. After a number of incredibly tough corona years, this is the time to replenish our reserves, but that is being made impossible for us. Let us do our job”, concludes Keij.

Read also:

Traffic center of Amsterdam hindered for some time by taxi protest YES21 files motion against cut Amsterdamse Weesperstraat 2023


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