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By On June 21, 2018

People Might Soon Be Paid To Cycle To Work In The Netherlands

People in the Netherlands might soon be paid per kilometre they cycle to work, as part of a new cycling initiative aimed at getting people to be more active.

According to reports, the Dutch government wants to encourage people to cycle an extra three billion kilometres (1.8bn miles).

It is encouraging companies to pay workers 17p per km to incentivise them to ditch other forms of transport.

There are already a huge amount of bicycles in the Netherlands - thought to be more than people at around 22 million bikes. There are around 17 million people in the country.

In cities including Amsterdam and The Hague, it is estimated up to 70% of all journeys are already made by bike.

Cycling groups in the UK welcomed the idea, seeing it as possible inspiration.

Dr Andy Cope, Director of Research at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, told HuffPost UK the initiative was good idea because cycling “can play a vital role in improving public health, reducing congestion on our roads and making our towns and cities more inclusive, liveable and cleaner.”

He said the UK government should do more to invest in cycling and walking infrastructure to encourage people to be more active.

“We welcome any incentives that will help fully release the benefits of walking and cycling. Financial incentives could play a really important role in encouraging active travel and can offer a better option compared to other schemes that use public money to change travel patterns.”

Roger Geffen, Policy Director at Cycling UK told HuffPost UK: “The biggest issue with a scheme such as this would be how it could be enforced and whether it targets the people who would benefit the most from cycling, such as those out of work and the elderly.

“However there would certainly be a good economic case in terms of reduced congestion, pollution and the offset cost to the NHS which would easily outweigh what is paid to cyclists for participating in a scheme such as this.”

Source: Google News Netherlands | Netizen 24 Netherlands

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By On June 21, 2018

Why the Netherlands is closing its prisons

Jun 21, 2018

Dutch crime statistics make damning reading for UK ministers struggling to tackle overcrowded jails

Boschpoort Prison, in Breda, was closed last year and has been converted into an entertainment venue

The government of the Netherlands is to close a further four of the nation’s prisons as crime rates hit their lowest level since 1980.

See related Jail numbers in England are highest in western EuropeBritain's IPP prisoners shackled with indefinite terms

According to the Dutch national statistics office CBS, there are now just 49 crimes reported for every 1,000 citizens per year.

Sources told Rotterdam-based newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that prisons in Zoetermeer, Zeist, Almere and Zwaag are to be shut down by Justice Minister Sander Dekker.

The Netherlands has closed a number of its jails in recent years amid plummeting crime rates. In 2013, 19 of the country’s prisons were axed because there weren’t enough criminals to fill them, according to The Independent. A further five were shut down last year.

The DutchNews site reports that, in the face of mass job losses, the 2013 closures “led to a storm of protest from prison workers, [so] the government began ‘importing’ prisoners from Belgium and Norway to fill the gap and keep some prisons open”.

Only 700 of the 2,000 prison workers affected by the 2017 closures were moved to other roles within Dutch law enforcement.

The statistics make for damning reading for Theresa May’s government, amid rising fears about the “crisis” of Britain’s packed prisons, The Guardian says. Two-thirds of the country’s jails are officially overcrowded, the newspaper reports.

An investigation by The Observer in February found that of 118 UK priso ns subject to official inspections, 68% were providing “unsatisfactory standards in at least one respect, with two in five jails deemed to be unacceptably unsafe”.

Lord Woolf, the former lord chief justice, told the newspaper that overcrowding urgently needed to be tackled.

“I’m afraid we’ve got to have a complete reassessment of the situation,” Woolf said. “Whenever there is a particularly nasty crime, what Parliament wants to do is have a new offence and put sentences up, and so we go on.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme last month, Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said that the Government was looking at ways to reduce prison overcrowding, and that he was calling for a “massive reduction” in the number of people sent to prison for a short sentence.

Source: Google News Netherlands | Netizen 24 Netherlands

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By On June 21, 2018

Netherlands considering paying people to cycle to work in effort to cut road congestion

The Dutch government is encouraging companies to pay people to cycle to work as part of a national initiative to fight worsening congestion on the roads.

“Let’s get out of our cars and onto our bikes”, Dutch deputy infrastructure minister Stientje van Veldhoven said this week as she announced new measures to encourage cycling.

She has proposed a compensation scheme for working adults in which they receive 19 cents (17p) for each kilometre they cycle as part of their commute.

According to AFP, Ms Van Veldhoven is to discuss the proposal as well as other ways of promoting bicycle use through fiscal rewards such as subsidies to buy bicycles “with major national employers and small and medium enterprises”.

“I want to stimulate cycling with the aim of getting 200,000 extra people out of their cars to cycle 3 billion kilometres more on their bicycles,” she said.

The Netherlands already leads the way when it comes to cycling. There are an estimated 22.5m bicycles in the Netherlands â€" more than the 17.1 million people who live there, while more than a quarter of the country cycles to work.

Since 2005, the number of bicycles has increased by 11 per cent, and in Amsterdam, 32 per cent of all journeys are made by bike.

According to the Netherlands’ government website, a regional trial is already in place which has shown that even after the financial rewards stop, people continue to cycle to work.

It states: “Various regions are promoting the use of bicycles by means of mobile phone apps. A case in point is the B-Riders project in the province of Brabant. B-Riders are commuters who switch from car to bicycle. They are coached by an app, and receive a financial reward for each kilometre cycled during peak hours. Experience has shown that most people continue to cycle even after the reward ceases.”

The scheme benefits employers, the government says, as “employees who cycle are in better shape and are less prone to absence through illness. In addition, bicycle use often enables companies to save on parking costs.”

“For that reason, the government is encouraging employers to provide adequate bicycle facilities, and introduce a mileage allowance for cyclists. Employers may provide cyclists with a (tax free) mileage allowance of up to 19 cents a kilometre, as is the case for car commuters,” the website says.

“Bicycles play an important role when it comes to reachability, quality of life and health,” Ms Van Veldhoven said. She added: “It reduces traffic jams and gives people forced to use cars more space.”

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Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at the 1st Precinct in Manhattan where he turned himself in to New York police for sexual misconduct charges. Reuters

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Konstantin Palace in Strelna, outside Saint Petersburg, on May 24, 2018 Getty Images

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33/50 21 May 2018

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34/50 20 May 2018

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro casts his vote during the presidential elections in Caracas. Maduro was seeking a second term in power. AFP/Getty

35/50 19 May 2018

Channelized lava emerges on Kilauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on Hawaii. The USGS said on its website that "a fast-moving pahoehoe lava flow that emerged from fissure 20... continues to flow southeast," with the quickest of three "lobes" progressing at 230 yards (210 meters) per hour. AFP/US Geological Survey

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1/50 21 June 2018

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10/50 13 June 2018

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11/50 12 June 2018

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19/50 4 June 2018

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21/50 2 June 2018

Palestinian mourners carry the body of 21-year-old medical volunteer Razan al-Najjar during her funeral after she was shot dead by Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border fence on June 1, in another day of protests and violence. She was shot near Khan Yunis in the south of the territory, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, bringing the toll of Gazans killed by Israeli fire since the end of March to 123. AFP/Getty

22/50 1 June 2018

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35/50 19 May 2018

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37/50 17 May 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting during the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria. Reuters

38/50 16 May 2018

People hold flags with the state coat of arms of Russia as they drive along a bridge, which was constructed to connect the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula across the Kerch Strait. Reuters

39/50 15 May 2018

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44/50 10 May 2018

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46/50 8 May 2018

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47/50 7 May 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks before his President inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow. Reuters

48/50 6 May 2018

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49/50 5 May 2018

Russian police carrying struggling opposition leader Alexei Naval ny at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Thousands of demonstrators denouncing Putin's upcoming inauguration into a fourth term gathered in the capital's Pushkin Square. AP

50/50 4 May 2018

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More than half of all daily trips in the Netherlands are less than 7.5km in length and more than half of all people live less than 15km from their work places, according to the government.

< p>“With the development of the electric bicycle, this distance can easily be covered,” the ministry said, adding that €100m have been budgeted to increase dedicated bike roads and bicycle parking spaces.

Source: Google News Netherlands | Netizen 24 Netherlands

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By On June 21, 2018

Italian interior minister tells rescue ship to 'bring migrants to the Netherlands'

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Source: Google News Netherlands | Netizen 24 Netherlands