Police and municipality powerless against speed demons Ringvaart

Residents of houseboats on the Ringvaart of the Haarlemmermeerpolder fear a new summer full of nuisance. Speedboats and watercraft speeding past cause damage in and to the houseboats. The police and the municipality want to act, but are powerless. The municipality of Haarlemmermeer owns no boats and the police also struggle with a lack of equipment.

“During the high season, nine out of ten boats pass by. At that moment we really feel our boat going up and down half a meter,” says houseboat resident Anneke Tiemersma from Vijfhuizen at NH Nieuws. “We have suffered damage as a result. It seems only a matter of time until the pipes fail.”

“Our boat will bounce, causing plants, equipment and, for example, paintings to come down,” says another houseboat resident.

The residents have had enough, but when they pick up the phone they come across a wall of different authorities. “Boats that sail at high speeds on the ring canal can be reported to the province,” says Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland. But the province immediately refers: “Nuisance from boats is the same as nuisance in public space. It seems to me to be a matter for the police,” says Harriët Wijker of the province of North Holland. A spokesperson for the municipality also says that the water police is responsible for the ring canal.

Together with Aalsmeer

The police regularly patrols the canal, but not every day: “We have to divide our scarce capacity. That is why we also patrol the water with partners such as water boards (the Hoogheemraadschap, ed.) and municipalities,” says a spokesperson for the Noord police. -Holland.

Haarlemmermeer recently agreed with the neighboring municipality of Aalsmeer that enforcers from Aalsmeer may also patrol the ring canal. But that only applies to the section of the ring canal between Leimuiden and the Nieuwe Meer in Amsterdam. This leaves about forty kilometers of ring canals without enforcers.

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The residents of the houseboats in Vijfhuizen have not been helped: “It is regrettable that authorities continue to point at each other, without one of them feeling responsible”, one of them sighs. “Hardvaarders have free rein in this way on the ring canal.”