News item | 23-06-2022 | 22:09

    The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the provinces of Groningen, Fryslân and Drenthe have made agreements on the basis of the Delta Plan for the Northern Netherlands regarding the MIRT study into the Lelylijn. This new train connection connects Lelystad and the cities of Groningen and Leeuwarden, reducing travel time between the Randstad and the Northern Netherlands. A joint work organization is being set up to coordinate the research. The Delta Plan administrative consultation will direct this work organisation. Residents, stakeholders and other regional authorities will also be involved in the study.

    State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen (Infrastructure and Water Management): “I think it’s great that we are now getting to work on the plans for the Lely Line. As with any construction project, the phase in which the plan takes shape and wishes are explored is just as important as the construction itself. Together with the region, we are tackling this energetically and would also like to involve the inhabitants of the Northern provinces in this process.”

    Chairman of the Delta Plan for the Northern Netherlands, Nelleke Vedelaar: “We are looking forward to working concretely with the government on the Lely and Lower Saxony lines. We have also made attractive agreements to accelerate housing construction in cities along the existing track. Of course, this requires an investment to make this track faster and less vulnerable.”

    Deputy of Fryslân Avine Fokkens: “With these next steps for the Lely line, we are keeping up the pace and I am happy with that. We need a preferred variant and financing. And then the actual realization. That’s where it has to go.”

    King’s Commissioner in Groningen René Paas: ”For the Northern Netherlands, this is another important step in the integrated approach to national tasks, such as the housing task and increasing prosperity across the board. We will also explicitly ask our residents to think along with us. After all, this task belongs to and for all of us.”

    Alderman of Groningen Philip Broeksma: “For Groningen, the construction of the Lelylijn is of the utmost importance. The correlation with economic development, with more homes, in short, with broad prosperity is evident. Time for the next step, good that it will be taken.”

    Start MIRT study

    It has been agreed in the coalition agreement that 3 billion euros has been set aside to be able to construct the Lelylijn in due course with co-financing from the region and from European funds. The construction of large infrastructural projects in the Netherlands always takes place using the MIRT method. MIRT stands for Multi-Year Program Infrastructure, Spatial Planning and Transport. The MIRT method means that research is first conducted and a preferred variant is identified. Even during this cabinet term, if sufficient funding is available, a MIRT exploration will be launched, after which the plan elaboration and implementation will follow.

    The MIRT study that is now being launched will look at how the economy, housing and better accessibility can reinforce each other. This does not only look at the Lely line, but also at the connection with the Lower Saxony line, improvements to parts of the existing track and the rail connection with Northern Germany. Relevant variants, costs, support and possible coverage are mapped out.

    International connection

    It has been agreed in the coalition agreement that it will be worked out how the Lely Line can contribute to a better international train connection with the north of Germany. At the beginning of June, the Netherlands therefore indicated to the European Commission and the incoming Czech EU Presidency that the Netherlands wants the Lely line to be included in the TEN-T network (the Trans-European Transport Network). The inclusion of the Lelylijn in this network is important because it also makes the project eligible for subsidies from the Connecting Europe Facility, a European fund that provides subsidies to projects that ensure better transport connections between Member States.