Busman’s holiday!

As a Transport Planner it’s difficult to travel anywhere without it becoming a busman’s holiday…… We stayed in the beautiful town of Haarlem for the weekend to celebrate the 90th Birthday of a Dutch family friend in Amsterdam. Using the impressive public transport system and integrated ticketing, we used train, bus and tram – and only once did a bus do the Bristol trick of disappearing from the real-time display and not turn up!

Much to the annoyance of my wife as I nearly missed our bus, I just had to visit the 5,000 space cycle parking underground at Haarlem station! Located under the bus station and next to the rail station it is very impressive with vending machines for spare bike parts etc. Whilst the Dutch certainly do cycling and public transport well, they do in my opinion neglect the pedestrian – one has to be alert to avoid cyclists, and footways are often narrow, blocked by parked bikes or just discontinuous. This is also something we observed a while ago on a KTC study tour to Copenhagen and so our European friends do not get all transport right!