Politicians react with surprise about public transport cuts in Medemblik

The Medemblik municipal council, but also in the provincial government, responded with surprise to the cuts in public transport in North Holland North. Clarification is being requested from various quarters. “Public transport is a basic facility that you must maintain.”

Now the province plans to change the timetable for buses in North Holland North next summer to kick the bucket, the first surprised reactions slowly trickle in. At the beginning of this week, the Village Council of Andijk already questioned the proposed decision to eliminate several bus stops in the center of the village.

It leaves a bad taste, chairman Gerrit van Keulen previously told NH, also because the village is not informed. “This has a major impact on going to school, shopping, going to work and visiting family or hospital,” he said.

He finds it incomprehensible. “Given the residents of the assisted living and sheltered housing near the Sorghvliet nursing home and the elderly who live in Plan Zuid, it is incompatible with the fact that they have to walk to the Hoekweg (the nearest bus stop of line 132, ed.) to to catch the bus there.”

Longer travel time

But now politicians – both local and provincial – have also asked for clarification. According to GB councilor Luiten Plekker, 69 students from Medemblik take the bus every day to the RSG Wiringherlant in Wieringerwerf.

With the new timetable, the direct bus connection (line 655) will no longer be available, and in the new school year they will first have to take bus lines 139 or 140 and then change in Abbekerk to line 135.

A journey that takes almost twice as long, he calculates. “This transfer can be disadvantageous. Students take the bus in winter or in bad weather, and the bus station in Abbekerk is located in a deserted corner,” said Plekker. “Missing a connection also means that students can arrive late to school.”

School line disappears

Benningbroek and Sijbekarspel are also ‘confronted’ with the consequences of the new timetable. For example, student line 363 will disappear in both villages because, according to the province, it has ‘low occupancy’.

In addition, says councilor Tom Beuker (Tomorrow!), the Dr. bus stops will also be closed. De Vriesstraat and Nieuweweg, the latter of which has been ‘completely renovated’.

“It will be replaced by line 142, which only runs from the bus station in Abbekerk to the Molenbuurt in Benningbroek. And that during rush hour, in our opinion not exactly efficient and effective. You just keep changing, without a direct connection to school.”

New timetable will come into effect next summer

A new timetable will come into effect in North Holland North on July 21, 2024. According to the province, many bus and train passengers will actually benefit from the introduction of the new timetable: “The changes in the line network provide an improvement for large groups of travelers because buses arrive at the station faster and more often, which increases the total travel time becomes much shorter. This means an improvement in accessibility in this region and more attractive public transport,” said a spokesperson.

For the small group of students who take longer, the province is looking at whether customization is possible.

These concerns have not gone unheard in the provincial government building in Haarlem. For the VVD, accessibility to facilities, especially in rural areas, is ‘very important’. “Public transport is a basic facility that you must maintain. Especially in rural areas, where not all facilities are around the corner, you want residents to be able to go to the doctor, hospital, family or school within a reasonable time. That is crucial for the quality of life in the villages. Good public transport, in addition to alternatives such as a bicycle and car, is an important part of this,” says Member of Parliament Jeroen Boer, who recently raised the alarm with responsible deputy Jeroen Olthof.