Mobility Report 2017

In 2016, approximately 60 percent of the total number of passenger kilometres in the Netherlands were travelled by car. This figure largely remained constant from 2005 to 2016. Train travel accounted for 13 percent of all passenger kilometres in 2016, and bicycle use for 8 percent. There was a sharp increase in car use (as drivers) among senior citizens. The number of car kilometres travelled by people aged 60+ has increased by 63 percent since 2005. Leisure mobility in particular increased from 2005 to 2016: approximately half of the Dutch population’s total mobility currently pertains to leisure mobility. Cars were used for nearly 45 percent of leisure mobility. These are some of the findings of the KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis’ ‘Mobility Report 2017' (digital version in Dutch).

Development of cycling and walking

Bicycle use has grown by nearly 12 percent since 2005. Dutch people cycle more frequently and further distances to pursue educational and leisure time activities, and, moreover, the distances that people cycle for commuting are now longer than they were 11 years ago. Part of this increased bicycle use is attributed to e-bikes, which, in addition to being used by senior citizens, are increasingly used by adults under age 65. In total, bicycles account for 16 percent of all bicycle kilometres travelled by people aged 12 and older. The number of kilometres travelled by foot has increased by 11 percent since 2005, with people particularly walking more frequently and for longer distances in order to engage in leisure activities.

Metropolitan areas

From 2005 to 2016, bicycles gained ground on cars and public transport in terms of the share of commuting trips. Cars remain dominant for longer distance trips to and from major cities, however, while trains claim a high proportion for commuting.  In recent years, travel delays have increased on the urban and regional roads of the Netherlands’ four major cities and their suburbs.

Development of the main road network

Travel delays were 9 percent higher in 2016 than in 2005. Expansion of the road network (additional lanes) led to a 46 percent reduction in travel delays on main roads. Travel delays increased by 10 percent last year, which, in a historical perspective, is relatively high, yet significantly lower than the exceptional 22 percent increase witnessed in 2015. In 2016, travel delays on the main road network particularly increased during the evening peak (15:00-19:00), and in the Randstad’s North Wing (Noordvleugel). Due to a burgeoning economy, by 2022 traffic congestion is expected to have increased by 9 percent, and travel delays by 28 percent, as compared to 2016 levels.

Development of freight transport

In 2016, the transported weight for all transport flows in the Netherlands was 12 percent higher than in 2005. Owing to continuing economic recovery, transported weight increased by 2 percent in 2016, with both domestic and international freight transport surpassing the pre-crisis levels. From 2017 to 2022, KiM expects domestic freight transport to increase by 1 percent, and international transport by 15 percent. Air freight is forecasted to increase by an average of 5.5 percent per year during the same period.

Traffic safety

The percentage of traffic fatalities involving people aged 70+ increased from one-quarter in 2005 to roughly one-third in 2016. People aged 70+ accounted for more than half (57 percent) of all traffic fatalities involving cyclists. The number of traffic fatalities involving senior citizens is increasing, because both the number of senior citizens and the kilometres they travel per person are increasing. This means that per travelled bicycle kilometre the risk of being involved in a fatal accident is decreasing.


Since 2014, traffic-related CO2 emissions have largely remained at the same level. Consequently, the declining trend that first appeared in 2011 has ceased. However, emissions of other substances - NOX, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), SO2 and NMVOS – that traffic greatly contributes to have steadily decreased.