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Netherlands

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Netherlands
Nederland
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (43)
Country code NL
Drives on:  right
Route prefixes:  A, N
Traffic light sequence:  green · amber · red
Signage colour
Motorway:  white on blue
Main road:  white on blue
Other:  red on white (cycle routes)
General data
Population:  17,084,719 (2017)
Area:  41,543 km²
Currency:  Euro EUR (€)
Time zone:  GMT+1 (summer: GMT+2)
Internet TLD code:  .nl
International dialling code:  +31
Capital City::  Amsterdam
Borders
Belgium, France, Germany

Introduction

The Netherlands is a small butvery densely populated country in western Europe. It has 17 million inhabitants and a surface area of 41,543 km². Its capital city is Amsterdam, while its national government sits in The Hague (Den Haag).

The Netherlands has a natural border with the North Sea in the north-west, and land borders with Germany in the east and Belgium in the south. It is generally a very flat country, except for a few hills in the far south-east (Zuid-Limburg). The hill of Vaals rises to 323 metres above sea-level.

The country stands at the mouth of several important rivers: the Rhine (Rijn), Meuse (Maas), and Scheldt (Schelde). The western part of the Netherlands is more urbanised (especially the Randstad area between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht). Other important cities are: Almere, Amersfoort, Arnhem, Breda, Deventer, Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, Heerlen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Tilburg, Venlo, Vlissingen, and Zwolle.

The Netherlands is a prosperous country with a high per capita income, and was one of the six co-founder member states of the European Economic Community, precursor of the European Union (EU). The port of Rotterdam grew to become the largest in the world in the later decades of the 20th century, and it remains of vital importance for the distribution of goods to and from mainland EU.

The Netherlands is composed of 12 provinces and 441 municipalities.

Road network

The Netherlands has one of the densest road networks in the world. In 2008 the country had 136,135 km of public roads, of which 5,012 km were state roads (rijkswegen), 7,848 km were provincial roads, and 123,237 km were municipal roads. The density of motorways is approximately 57.5 route-km per 1000 km²: the highest in the European Union.

Road categories in the Netherlands

Types of roads

  • Motorways (autosnelwegen) can be provincial, but most of them are nationally administered and maintained by the Netherlands highway agency, the Rijkswaterstaat.
  • Non-motorways (niet-autosnelwegen) are mostly maintained by the provinces, although some are the responsibility of the national state or of municipalities.

Road numbering

There is a single integrated system for numbering all main roads in the Netherlands, motorways and non-motorways. Roads are numbered in the series 1–999 and these numbers are prefixed by an A or an N, indicating whether the road concerned is a motorway (A) or a non-motorway (N). For any particular route, the road number remains the same even if the road type changes.

  • 1–175: Most of these roads are maintained by the Rijkswaterstaat, although some (i.e. the N34, N35, and N69) are provincially maintained.
  • 176–999: These roads may be mainatianed by the Rijkswaterstaat, by provinces, or by municipalities. Those numbered 176–400 are more important (and are signed as such); the remainder are less important.
  • Other road number types:
r-roads: recreational roads.
s-roads (s = stad, i.e. city): city roads in Amsterdam and Almere.

Length of the road network

Statewide

Theotal length of all roads in the Netherlands in kilometres per year (Source:[1]):

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
130,446 131,531 132,397 133,383 134,218 134,948 135,470 136,135 136,827 137,347 137,692 137,804 138,199

State roads

Length of all state roads maintained by the Rijkswaterstaat (Source:[2]). Length in kilometres, per year:

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
4,892 4,997 5,104 5,136 5,178 5,204 5,012 5,050 5,076 5,109 5,121 5,120 5,191

Provincial roads

Length of all roads maintained by the provinces (Source:[3]). Length in kilometres, per year:

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
7,885 7,866 7,856 7,799 7,743 7,745 7,899 7,848 7,836 7,861 7,863 7,802 7,778

Municipal roads

Length of all roads maintained by municipalities ans "waterschappen" (Source:[4]). Length in kilometres, per year:

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
117,669 118,667 119,437 120,447 121,297 121,999 122,559 123,237 123,914 124,377 124,707 124,882 125,230

Driving

Speed limits

  • Motorways (Autosnelwegen) 130 km/h
  • Motor roads (Autowegen) 100 km/h
  • Other roads
    • Outside built-up areas 80 km/h
    • Within built-up areas 50 km/h

Other rules

Links




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