‘Eelde Airport must have a safe bus stop’. Students and passengers get into trouble on 80 kilometers of road

Anyone traveling by bus to Groningen Airport Eelde will find themselves in a dangerous situation. The stop should be located at the terminal again, according to the airport management.

“We have many students here from Alfa College and Noorderpoort,” says airport spokesman Jonas van Dorp. “These young people arrive here in groups and travel away again. They have to cross the busy Legroweg. You understand that this can sometimes lead to dangerous situations, also given their age. But this is also not pleasant for passengers who have to cross with their suitcases.”

Dampen well

Van Dorp is pleased that the VVD in the Drenthe Parliament is placing the issue on the province’s political agenda through written questions. Party chairman Kees Vianen is calling for measures. The money is already there. Vianen points out that the House of Representatives has adopted a motion to allocate 6.5 million euros for traffic measures at the airport and on the nearby business park.

“We want to avoid having to fill in the well after the calf has drowned,” says Vianen.

Until the corona epidemic, the bus still drove onto Machlaan to pick up or drop off passengers close to the airport terminal. But the bus stop has been moved. It is now located on the Burgemeester Legroweg, approximately on the dividing line where the speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour changes to 60. The bus stop has been constructed on a narrow strip between the cycle path and the car lane. “The speed pedelecs also whiz around you on that cycle path,” says Van Dorp.

“I understand that the airport management wants this,” says a lady waiting for the bus. She does not have to travel to the airport every day, but she still remembers the old situation. “It was safer. There is also no zebra crossing here.”

It is difficult to say how many students regularly travel to the airport, according to Noorderpoort spokesperson Mark Timmers. “Sometimes it is an individual student doing an internship, other times a class of 30 students going to GAE for a practical assignment.”

Aviation services training

Noorderpoort has an Aviation Services course that works closely with the airport. What better place to learn than in practice, at an airport? “But our technology students also go to the airport,” says Timmers. They are involved in the application of hydrogen in aviation, droneing and logistics. We work together with Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Drenthe College, Alfa College and the university. The number of students traveling to ‘Eelde’ is increasing, we are pleased with the political attention for improving the bus stops and public transport connections.”

According to Van Dorp, there are plans to further expand educational activities at the airport until a kind of campus of various educational institutions is created. That is why the airport management insists on safer access for public transport. “We are also discussing this with the public transport agency. They have very good intentions, but it is an implementation organization.” Clients are the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen and the municipality of Groningen. “That is why it is good that this has the attention of Drenthe provincial politicians,” says Van Dorp.