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Rotterdam is easy to reach by car or motorcycle. There are several motorway standard roads to Rotterdam from all directions. These highways connect to the ring road, which encircles Rotterdam city centre. The Rotterdam ring road consists of the highways A15 (South), A4 (West), A16 (East) and A20 (North).
You have to watch your speedometer at the Ring Rotterdam, because there are many speedcameras. The present maximum speed is clearly indicated on electronic road signs. Especially at the North ring (A20) and the A13 (from The Hague / Amsterdam) where your average speed is calculated at a distance of several kilometers. You are allowed to drive only 80 kmh (or 100 kmh during rush hours) for noise reduction and environmental issues. At the other ring roads in Rotterdam you are allowed to drive 100 km per hour. Outside greater Rotterdam you're allowed to drive 120 or 130 kmh.
When you're driving into Rotterdam city centre, just follow the signs 'Centrum' at the ring road. When you leave the motorway and enter the city of Rotterdam, the maximum speed is 50 km per hour. At many crossings there are speedcameras as well as traffic light cams. There are many public car parks in Rotterdam.
Like in any big city, traffic can be quite busy during rush hours. In the morning (7 - 9 am) and in the evening (4 - 7 pm), traffic jams in the city centre and at the ring roads of Rotterdam are frequent, especially on Motorway A20. In Rotterdam city centre the traffic is very dense during store hours on Sunday afternoon. The best option is to avoid the rush hours or park your car at a Park and Ride in the outskirts of Rotterdam, and continue your trip by Rotterdam metro.
Driving in the Netherlands is pretty easy! The roads are in good condition and the traffic code and road signs are similar to other European countries, but there are a few rules that you have to be aware of:
- You drive at the right and are only allowed to overtake at the left;
- You are only allowed to use your cell phone while driving when using a hands-free system. You'll be fined even just holding your smartphone while driving;
- City buses have priority when pulling out;
- You must always yield the right-of-way to trams, even when turning, unless there are traffic lights at major junctions;
- Children under 12 are not allowed to travel as a front seat passenger unless using a suitable restraint system;
- Children shorter than 1.35 m must sit in an approved car seat;
- You're allowed to park your motorbike on the pavement for free, except at Rotterdam Central Station; you must pay to park at an official parking spot!
The following table shows the distance of Rotterdam to other cities:
|Amsterdam||74 km||Paris (France)||448 km|
|Schiphol Airport||58 km||London (UK)||473 km|
|The Hague||25 km||Dusseldorf (Germany)||230 km|
|Utrecht||66 km||Cologne (Germany)||261 km|
|Antwerp (Belgium)||98 km||Berlin (Germany)||695 km|
|Brussels (Belgium)||150 km|
The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in Rotterdam has been in effect since 2016. The LEZ Rotterdam aims to get rid of old and polluting cars in the city centre to obtain cleaner air. The LEZ Rotterdam is indicated in red on the map below. The LEZ Rotterdam covers more or less the whole area within the ring roads of Rotterdam. In addition, the Low Emission Zone Rotterdam is in effect at North Island, the Willemsbrug Bridge and the Erasmus bridge.
The Low Emission Zone Rotterdam doesn't apply in the suburbs and at Wilhelminapier. The LEZ Rotterdam isn't applicable for motorcycles or for oldtimers older than 40 years either.
You are not allowed to enter the LEZ Rotterdam with a van or passenger car on gasoline with a registration date before 1 January 1992. For diesel vehicles a registration of 1 January 2001 applies. From 2018, this evironmental requirement for diesel vehicles will be tightened to 1 January 2005. At the municipality of Rotterdam, singel permits are for sale for € 24,90, as maybe you have a special car and still want to drive in the centre of Rotterdam. A violation costs € 90. The LEZ Rotterdam also applies to foreign vehicles, but in practice enforcement is complicated.
The Dutch Automible Association (ANWB) offers general information for motorists. VID gives up to date traffic information, including traffic jams and speed cameras. Van A naar Beter gives an overview of planned road works and detours in the Netherlands including Rotterdam.
Public transport in and around in Rotterdam made easy with the travel chip card.
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