The construction of the northern access road to the campus will not begin this year. A legal claim against construction must first be settled.
Else Ebbeling, head of real estate at Wageningen University & Research, promised this to the Council of State this morning. This promise immediately defused the sitting, which had been convened to prevent construction from beginning. The groups Mooi Wageningen and the Fietserbond had requested a preliminary injunction while waiting for the decision on their claim against a northern access road.
The judge wondered why a legal session was called if the road was not going to be built. She had even phoned the municipality of Wageningen prior to the sitting to see if there was an ‘urgent interest’ for the sitting. Both the municipal government and Ebbeling feel that haste should be made. WUR would have liked to have begun construction yesterday, Ebbeling commented. The reason behind this is traffic safety.
‘No major accidents have happened yet. And we want to keep things that way,’ Ebbeling said. ‘Going ahead with the plan will ensure this. Every day of delay leads to unnecessary accident risks.’ Bornsesteeg is currently shared by cars and cyclists. If a northern access road is built, those two streams of traffic will be divided. Cyclists will have a wide, separate path on the east side of Bornsesteeg and the south side of Kielekampsteeg.
Mooi Wageningen and the Fietsersbond are completely opposed to that development. They do not want motor vehicles driving through the Binnenveld. They argue that a northern access road is totally unnecessary if Wageningen could be better reached via Mansholtlaan and Nijenoord Allee. Until then the safety on Bornsesteeg could be improved with simple provisions, said Patrick Jansen, chair of Mooi Wageningen. ‘For example, by making a street for bicycles where cars are allowed as guests only.’
Whether the judge agrees with this suggestion will become clear later this year. In the interest of traffic safety, the judge wants to hold the proceedings in December. If the objections are dismissed, construction can begin as quickly as possible. The work should last for about 4-5 months. The costs will be borne by WUR and the province of Gelderland.