The policy aimed at getting more staff out of their cars has largely failed. This is the conclusion of an interim evaluation of the mobility plan at Erasmus University.

The ambitious objective to reduce car use among staff by 11 percentage points between 2010 and 2015 is far from being achieved. In 2010, 36 percent of staff mainly came to work by car. Multiple disincentives should have served to cut this down to 25 percent, but it is still 34.8 percent. That means that car use has only fallen by 1.2 percent points.

Less parking pressure

“We would of course have preferred to see a different result,” says spokesperson Jacco Neleman in response to the figures. But according to Neleman, there is also good news: parking pressure on Woudestein campus has fallen enormously. Between January and May, there were 24 percent fewer cars on campus than in the same period in 2014. The reason may be parking charges: in 2014 parking cost 1.70 euros a day, but that has now risen to 2.50 euros.

Based on that 24 percent fall and the average commuting distance, the Steering Committee Sustainable Mobility has calculated that in the first five months, 400,000 car kilometres were saved. A massive improvement in terms of the environment, you could say. But these figures do not take into account drivers who park off campus.

Off campus

And that is a serious factor, because parking is free in the neighbouring district De Esch. The Steering Committee’s report also refers to this: “Counts of people parking in this district who work at EUR show that this can be a considerable number.” It is therefore realistic to assume that a large part of the ‘saved’ 400,000 kilometres is fiction.

'Need is declining'

According to Neleman, however, random surveys among staff and students have proved that the number of parking places required on or off campus between 2010 and 2014 fell by 18.5 percent. “That is less than the 24 percent in the other survey, but it does correct for parking off campus. Incidentally, the municipality has long had plans to introduce paid parking in De Esch. We at EUR are also urging the municipality to do so”, says Neleman. The random surveys referred to are not included in the interim evaluation.