Problems in the Coentunnel

Friday 31 January 2020
In 2019, the northern portal of the Coentunnel was the most dangerous part of the motorway network in the country. In the space of one year there were 63 collisions on the kilometre of tarmac between the junction with the A8 and the middle point of the tunnel for traffic travelling towards The Hague1. 6 more incidents than on the A1 at the Ede junction, the section of road that was in second place. It was also a new record. There had never before been so many accidents on a single kilometre of motorway in one year.

Een ongeval aan de noordelijke ingang van de Coentunnel op 24 oktober 2019

Een ongeval aan de noordelijke ingang van de Coentunnel op 24 oktober 2019

The other direction, for traffic leaving the Coentunnel, was also high up the list of most dangerous sections of road in 2019. On the first kilometre of the A8 towards Zaandam there were 48 incidents. This puts this section of road in fourth place. That was a lot higher than in 2018, when there were 18 accidents here. Maarten Pels of Hoogwout Berging, the local IM recovery operator, puts the rise down to frequent bad weather. "More than anything else, what we're dealing with here is motorists who can't cope with the bend. That's often the case when it's really wet. If you haven't got a good set of tyres, you'll end up in the crash barrier."

Wear and tear of the road surface may also play a role. The road surface is under extra-high pressure where the road bends. The number of accidents on the first few kilometres of the A8 has been on the rise since 2013 (just 2 accidents!). Something similar had previously been noticed at the sharp bend of the De Stok junction at Roosendaal. There, too, the number of accidents was rising year in, year out, reaching a peak of 55 in 2015. Work to re-lay the road surface in 2016 was the rigorous solution to the problem. In that year there was not a single accident on the kilometre of motorway in question.Knooppunt De Stok bij Roosendaal.

Most dangerous 1 km sections of road in 2019

Rank 2019 Rank 2018 Road Carriageway Hectometre Accidents
1(8)A10Li30,0 - 30,963
2(2)A1Re53,0 - 53,957
3(4)A12Li27,0 - 27,951
4(88)A8Re1,0 - 1,948
5(5)A16Li21,0 - 21,943
6(6)A20Re42,0 - 42,943
7(1)A4Re33,0 - 33,942
8(17)A20Re30,0 - 30,941
9(19)A2Li163,0 - 163,940
10(18)A28Li0,0 - 0,940

On five-kilometre sections of road the list was topped not by a tunnel in Amsterdam, but by a bridge in Rotterdam. The A16 in the vicinity of the Brienenoordbrug made the list of most dangerous sections of road with a length of 5 kilometres on three occasions. At the top of the table was the section between the junction for Cappelle aan den IJssel and the Terbregseplein interchange. This section of road includes a complicated weaving section and has appeared regularly in the list for years. Here, too, there was a new record with 119 accidents in the space of one year.

Most dangerous 5km sections of road in 2019

Rank 2019 Rank 2018 Road Carriageway Hectometre Accidents
1(7)A16Li15,0 - 19,9119
2(2)A16Li20,0 - 24,9117
3(6)A10Re10,0 - 14,9116
4(5)A10Li20,0 - 24,9112
5(13)A1Li50,0 - 54,9110
6(4)A4Re30,0 - 34,9110
7(12)A20Re30,0 - 34,9110
8(3)A28Li0,0 - 4,9107
9(1)A16Re20,0 - 24,9106
10(11)A2Li160,0 - 164,9101

1)Figures relate solely to incidents involving passenger vehicles reported to the Stichting IMN's National Central Reporting Point (LCM).

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