In 2050 we will actively opt for sustainable modes of transport. We will be aware of the impact of the journeys we make and will adapt our travel, transport and buying behaviour accordingly.
HOW WILL WE TRAVEL WITHIN THE NETHERLANDS IN 2050?
In 2050 we will opt for the most appropriate mode of emission-free transport for each journey we take. Journey planners will help us make these choices by providing us with information about the sustainability of travel recommendations. For everyday travel and outings, we will share vehicles and use public transport.
In 2050 we will consciously choose the most appropriate mode of transport for each journey we take. Journey planners will help us decide by providing information not only about travelling times, but also about the sustainability of the travel recommendations. We will use this to adapt our travel behaviour. Emission-free vehicles will have replaced fossil fuel-powered cars as the dominant form of transport for everyday travel, for instance to work, school or the shops. For short journeys we will mostly travel by bicycle or on foot. Car-free city centres will offer plenty of scope for this, and even outside built-up areas good cycle paths will make cycling an attractive option. Employers will encourage their employees to actively think about their travel behaviour, for example by offering a company public transport pass or allowances for purchasing and using a pedal-powered or electric bicycle. Moreover, working from home on a regular basis will mean that we do not need to travel as often or as far.
By 2050 we will use emission-free public transport for travelling longer distances, often using bicycles for the first and last mile of the journey. It will be easy to park bicycles at stations, where affordable rental/shared bikes will always be available, including electric models. Buses, trams and metros will complement a high-frequency rail network with fast, logical connections, so that the number of transfers is kept to a minimum. By using driverless buses with dynamic routes in less populated parts of the country, we will have made the transition from the car to public transport there, too.
Electric vehicles and car sharing
People who are still dependent on cars in 2050, for example because of their job, will use electric vehicles (shared or otherwise), which can be recharged quickly and easily. Integrating battery-powered cars into the smart grid will also provide extra capacity to cope with peaks and troughs in electricity supply and demand. By sharing cars and car journeys, we will waste fewer resources and less energy, money and space on manufacturing, buying and parking cars. Cars will be an unpopular choice for extensive use because owning one will be viewed as unnecessary. Driving a car will also be more expensive than the various alternatives.
Travelling in our free time
By 2050 everyone will be able to reach popular leisure destinations by public transport. All stops and vehicles will be accessible, regardless of age or physical condition, including for people with disabilities. Public transport will also run until late at night, so we will not have to worry about missing the last connection. In situations where public transport is still problematic, we will be able to use shared electric vehicles.
HOW WILL WE TRAVEL ACROSS BORDERS IN 2050?
By 2050 international travel will involve conscious choices. We will avoid unnecessary business trips by arranging virtual meetings. We will mostly remain within Europe for holidays and will travel comfortably by train.
By 2050 our approach to domestic and international business trips will be well-considered and efficient. Good telecommunications will enable us to hold virtual meetings smoothly and effectively. On the rare occasions when we do want to meet in person, we will use a fast international rail network to travel to a centrally located point. Journey planners and ticket providers will work together across borders to facilitate this. We will only travel by air in exceptional circumstances. Trains and stations will be comfortable, making them excellent workplaces, so we will be able to use our travelling time productively. Employers will take the environmental and human impact into account when choosing a mode of transport, and will not mind employees taking extra time to travel if needed.
In 2050 we will usually spend our holidays close to home, in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe. We will hardly ever travel between continents and flying will be a rare occurrence. Comfortable, affordable rail travel will ensure that European destinations are within easy reach. Once we arrive at our destination we will occasionally make use of a hired or shared electric vehicle. A high-quality European fast-charging infrastructure will allow us to travel longer distances. We will view any additional travelling time as part of our holiday. On long-distance public transport, we will be able to enjoy entertainment facilities on-board and at stations. Airline tickets will be expensive due to the abolition of tax exemptions and the fact that we will be paying the true cost. Aeronautical engineering companies and airlines will constantly innovate to ensure that the most fuel-efficient planes are in use. We will continue to carry out research into solutions for sustainable aviation and develop innovative modes of transport to sustainably cover long distances at high speed.
WHAT WILL GOODS TRANSPORT BE LIKE IN 2050?
In 2050 we will minimise energy consumption in the logistics chain, within which we will work together flexibly. We will use renewable energy for transportation, with most of the journey taking place by water and rail. City centres will be supplied by combining deliveries through hubs.
Goods transport will be sustainable by 2050. A systemic change will have taken place in the transport and logistics sector, similar to that in our own travel. We will minimise energy consumption in the chain rather than aiming for the highest speed at the lowest cost. The energy that we use will be renewable. Producers, shippers, carriers and customers will all coordinate transportation flexibly to respond to changing circumstances.
Making transport more sustainable
By 2050 we will have minimised the number of road haulage miles by making extensive use of rail and water. Lorries will only be used for the first and last part of each journey and will run on clean fuel such as hydrogen or electricity. Shipping will become more sustainable with the introduction of new vessels fuelled by renewables. Only time-critical products will still be transported by air freight, which will no longer be used for luxury products.
Supplying stores and parcel delivery
By 2050 we will supply our cities via distribution hubs on the outskirts, using small, light electric vehicles and bicycle couriers to combine and deliver goods to their final destination. The orders we place will not usually be delivered to our front door. By collecting them from a pick-up point within walking distance we will minimise the last, unnecessary, time-consuming and expensive miles for delivery services. We will also be efficient in terms of product miles, because we will be conscious consumers, while manufacturers will optimise both the site and scale of their operations.