TIPS: TRAFFIC AND PARKING
• Unless otherwise marked, the speed limits are 50 km/hr in the city, 80 km/hr on other roads and 100, 120, or 130 km/hr on motorways. • Traffic is an issue (www.trafficnet.nl) and so is parking, for which you generally need a permit. • Options for paying for parking are cash, chip or via your mobile phone. See www.parkmobiel.nl, www.park-line.nl or www.yellowbrick.nl. • Many Dutch drivers are members of motoring organisation ANWB (www.anwb.nl), which can provide breakdown cover (wegenwacht) at home or abroad. • There are park and ride (P+R) schemes in most cities and the car-sharing scheme Green Wheels is a popular option (www.greenwheels.nl).
• The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (www.ns.nl), or NS, is the national train company and offers season tickets and discounts for off-peak travel (dal voordeel abonnement), which include up to 40 percent discount off the price of your tickets and up to three people travelling with you. • Either buy a single ticket at a kiosk, or use your OV-chipkaart to travel on the NS. Make sure you have a minimum EUR 20 uploaded on your OV-chipkaart (EUR 10 if you have a discount pass), and that you swipe out on arrival or your travel costs could triple. • If you forget to swipe out, you have up to six hours to go back and check out, otherwise you must claim back the added costs. Call 030 751 5155 for help with claims. • For certain cities, you can organize the NS Zonetaxi when you buy your train ticket. This is a door-to-door taxi service at fixed prices, for up to four people (starting at EUR 8,50).
CONTACTS • The Department of Road Transport: www.rdw.nl, 088 008 7447, or +31 (0)59 839 3330 (abroad) • Information on driving licences: www.rijbewijs.nl • Theory and driving tests: www.cbr.nl, 088 227 7700 • “Road Traffic Signs and Regulations” brochure: do a search on www.government.nl to download • Common traffic offences: www.politie.nl/themas/verkeershandhaving.html PUBLIC TRANSPORT • The swipecard payment system OV-chipkaart is the official public transport payment system for the metro, bus, tram and train throughout the Netherlands. • There are two types of OV-chipkaarts: anonymous, which anyone can buy from the OV-chipkaart machines or station; or personal, which you can apply for online. • Your pass can be loaded from one of the OV-chipkaart machines strategically placed at train and metro stations, or you can arrange for your personal card to “load” automatically from a bank account. You pay for the distance travelled by swiping it upon entering and leaving your transport station. • Personal products, such as season or discount tickets, can be loaded to your personal OV-chipkaart and you are automatically eligible for discounts. • The OV-chipkaart website (www.ov-chipkaart.nl) also has an English language section where you can find lines of action should you lose your card or forget to swipe out. Helpline: 0900 0980 (EUR 0.50/min) or @ovgevonden on social media. • Infrequent travellers can buy a single-use chipkaart ticket per trip.
www.ns.nl/en/travel-information for all information.
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