Wageningen University & Research no longer has confidence in the ability of the municipality to solve the accessibility issues of the city in the short term. This was stated by WUR spokesperson Simon Vink.
Test location Carus would have to give way to the ring road. © Roelof Kleis
On the third of July, the Wageningen municipal council made an unexpected decision concerning the ring road around campus that was proposed by the mayor and aldermen. The municipal councillors amended the suggested route along the borders of the campus and the neighbouring testing fields. The coalition chose a route that largely passes over WUR grounds. If such a road would come to be, the testing locations of Carus would have to be moved, including the expensive measuring equipment present therein.
WUR strongly opposes this decision by the municipal council and is not alone in doing so. The Provincial Executive for the province of Gelderland are just as unhappy about the decision, as is clear from a letter to the Wageningen board. The Provincial Executive announced last week that they want to intervene through a provincial integration plan. This means that the province would bypass the municipality and execute a plan of its own on the municipal grounds. Such a measure is not taken very often. In the past years, this only happened once in Wageningen: during the construction of the bus lane on campus. WUR would agree with a provincial integration plan when it comes to accessibility, says spokesperson Simon Vink.
Vink calls the decision of the municipal council about the ring road ‘unrealistic and incomprehensible’. It is basically an entirely new plan that has not been discussed nor accounted for and would cost 10 million euros more than prior plans, says Vink. According to the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research, this sum would be required for the move and demolishment of Carus. Vink: ‘That is why we as WUR appreciate the province’s approach. Especially as this would increase the chances of a realistic plan. And because good accessibility of Wageningen is in the interest of the entire region.’
However, the States-Provincial – the provincial ‘parliament’ – have yet to make a statement on the proposal of the Provincial Executive – the provincial ‘cabinet’ – taking over the direction of the construction of a ring road in Wageningen. This will take place after summer.