Reasons to install gates
Access gates are being installed at an increasing number of stations and are partially being put into operation. This is always preceded by a great deal of deliberation involving NS, ProRail and municipalities.
Gates at 82 out of 400 stations
Currently, many of the 82 designated controlled access stations have been fitted with access gates which have partially been put into use (see boxes). Prior to installing gates, NS and ProRail always undergo extensive negotiations with the relevant municipality regarding the exact placement of the gates and the boundary and user conditions. For example:
The municipality, ProRail and NS have agreed on a separate connection between the city centre and the districts on the western side of the station. The open connection next to the station's main concourse was constructed as part of the current refurbishment and expansion of the station. The access gates are installed in the station's main concourse.
Breda and Tilburg
In Breda (new station) and Tilburg (a new tunnel) the municipalities, NS and ProRail also agreed that the designs should include an open connection. The access gates are installed in the passenger tunnels.
The municipality, NS and ProRail agreed to a plan to incorporate access gates into Haarlem station's monumental hall. In addition, agreements were made with the municipality regarding passers-by, including a visitor's access card, and measures are being taken for visitors of locations within the station, such as the library and a restaurant that will be opening in the future.
The municipality and NS had already made agreements in 2004 regarding the provision of visitor access cards to local residents in a selected postal code area around the station. For the Municipality of Alkmaar, this agreement was a precondition to proceeding with the wider project development for the station area.
Residents in a hospice and nursing home next to the station often pass through the station while taking a stroll through the neighbourhood. They rarely use public transport. NS reached an agreement with the Municipality of Dordrecht to make visitor access cards available to the reception at the nursing home.
Collaboration between NS, ProRail and municipalities
Not all the stations in the Netherlands are being fitted with gates and not all of the planned gates have been installed yet. NS is installing the gates at stations step by step. Monumental stations, such as Haarlem and Deventer, and stations that are being refurbished, such as Groningen and Den Haag, are being given special attention. The plans for some stations are still being negotiated with municipalities. Conversely, at some other stations, a significant proportion of the gates are already in use.
Discussions regarding installation
The number of stations and the layout of the network partially determine the possibilities regarding installation. NS also depends on ProRail's permission and negotiations with municipalities for all stations. NS is committed to plan to use gates and then install them after negotiations with municipalities.
By setting up the network NS is giving form to the current Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment's national policies, as was detailed in the Aanvalsplan Sociale Veiligheid Openbaar Vervoer (2002) and later confirmed in a follow-up plan (2007). The public prosecution service considers controlled access to stations to be important, in order to get the prosecution of people who travel without tickets higher on the list of priorities. This is because of the large workload that dealing with people who travel without tickets generates.
The 82 selected stations are located in more than 50 different municipalities. These municipalities are aware of NS's plans to fit these stations with controlled access features. NS and the municipalities always start negotiations about the plans long before the first official applications for authorisation.