The Amsterdam council chamber. Photo for illustration.Photo: Shutterstock/Dutchmen Photography

Taxi drivers Stef Keij and Zouhair Bakali addressed the Amsterdam city council during a council committee last Thursday. During the debate, both drivers argued against the cut in the Weesperstraat. “The cut has caused insane chaos.”

According to Stef Keij, this trial has more disadvantages than advantages. “The past 07 days have unerringly shown that the cut in this form is a total disaster,” said Keij de Amsterdam. city ​​council. “The Weesperstraat may no longer be bothered by local traffic, but the same local traffic is now forced through streets and roads that are not designed for this at all. The promise was car-free, but the cut has had the exact opposite effect: the nuisance has taken on epic proportions.”

Side effects”Emergency services have the greatest difficulty in arriving in time for emergencies, taxi drivers have to detour with customers and Amsterdam schoolchildren arrive late at school every day”, Keij sums up a number of side effects of the now infamous cut.

“It is crystal clear that there is no support at all. For years I, and others, have been warning about what would happen if this cut actually came. Unfortunately, I have to conclude that everything that was warned about has also come true. The cut has caused insane chaos and traffic is not going to evaporate. Therefore stop this disaster immediately and open the barriers”, Keij concluded his plea.

Aggression Zouhair Bakali also contributed. Among other things, he decided to reveal the consequences of the cut for him as a taxi driver. “I myself am affected by this extreme test, both professionally and privately. Business I see losses of 35 percent per week and the cut is costing me customers. This is because the whole city, especially during rush hours, is grounded. I also have to deal with aggression from passengers who do not understand the closures and think that I am detouring on purpose. Closing an important traffic artery without offering the right alternatives does not work. The trial failed,” says Bakali.

Stef Keij, who, like Bakali, works as a taxi driver in the capital, has also noticed the consequences of the cut. “Taxi drivers are only allowed to drive for a few hours a day,” Keij answers when asked by Denk council member Süleyman Koyuncu about the financial consequences of the cut for taxi drivers. “If a twenty-minute ride now takes about an hour, that means you can make fewer trips. On average, you have to assume that a taxi driver will miss out on about 150 euros per day in gross turnover due to the cut”, says Keij. Pinch Despite these pleas, the Amsterdam traffic alderman Melanie van der Horst does not intend to lift the cut. “We see that it is currently extremely busy in the city”, is how the D66 minister justifies the pilot. “We also look at the long term. In the future there will be about 150.000 residents. That is one and a half times Haarlem. Car traffic will increase by 35 percent, in a city where it is already tight. This has an effect on both quality of life and road safety. It no longer fits. That is why we are doing this trial for six weeks. We are investigating which measures we can take so that we can move to a car-free city”, concludes Van der Horst.

Read also:

Student transport except from Knip Weesperstraat: ‘This is great’ Taxi protest against Amsterdam traffic policy: ‘We are the victims of this’


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