Cycling safety and taking your bike on public transport

The Hague is one of the best cities in the world to cycle in. Almost every main street has dedicated cycle paths and there are numerous bicycle parking facilities as well as plenty of bicycles for hire.

Cycling in The Hague

It is often faster to travel around the city by bicycle than by car and you will not have to search for a parking space. Riding your bike is not only healthy but it is also a pollution-free mode of transport.

The Hague is also a relatively small city. Residents can reach most of their destinations in 20 minutes and cycling from one end of the city to the other takes around 45 minutes. The Hague has more than 370 kilometres of cycle paths and 70 kilometres of bicycle lanes and is constantly working to improve its vast network of cycle paths.

  • Cycling in a city can be daunting for newcomers. Once you have tried cycling in The Hague, you will soon realise it is quite straightforward.

    Bicycles should have lights affixed to it or worn on the cyclist's chest or back. The bicycle should also be fitted with reflectors. When cycling in the dark or during times of poor visibility (including at dusk), bicycles must have their front and back lights on. Sometimes the police will set up road checks and will hand out a fine if you do not have your lights on. Wearing a helmet is not compulsory, but it is recommended.

    Watch out for trams and tracks

    Trams always have the right of way over everyone, unless road signs indicate otherwise. You are advised not to get your bicycle wheel stuck in the tracks. Always approach the tram tracks at a wide angle and be aware they may be slippery. Even cyclists who have lived here all their lives slip occasionally.

    Reporting poor conditions

    Have you come across a dangerous cycling situation in The Hague? For example, a poor surface or a dangerous intersection? Report unsafe situations to the municipality. The Fietsersbond (Cyclists’ Union) and the municipality will then see what they can do about it.

    Mobile phones

    In the Netherlands you are not permitted to hold a telephone or other electronic device in your hand while riding a bicycle. You are allowed to listen to music and check your route while cycling if you have a phone holder on your bike. And you may call hands free.

    Also see:

    Cycling guidelines for the Netherlands

  • While there are no special rules just for The Hague, international residents of the city are advised to know the basic rules for cycling and road signs. For example, several people have been fined for cycling on the pavements. This is not allowed!

    Right of way

    Many intersections in The Hague have no signs or markings to indicate right of way. In general, all traffic coming from the right, including other cyclists, has right of way. Otherwise, traffic must give way to vehicles crossing in front of them at the ‘Give Way’ sign or with the white, triangular ‘shark’s teeth’ markings on the road surface.

    Drivers wishing to turn right are supposed to wait for cyclists to pass them (on their right) before they turn. Cyclists have priority here. However, with The Hague’s large international community, some drivers may not be aware of the cyclist-friendly rules.

    Beware at intersections

    Be especially cautious at intersections with trucks and trams. Many trucks have been fitted with special side mirrors to boost the driver’s visibility. However, bicycle fatalities have occurred when the cyclist enters the driver’s blind spot and the driver simply does not see the cyclist when making a right turn.

    More information on Holland.com.

  • Children in the Netherlands learn to ride a bike at a very young age by cycling with parents or grandparents, and thus they do not usually enrol in cycling courses. Children are taught at school about traffic rules and road safety between the ages of 10 and 12 years and are required to pass a cycling test, which is usually administered by the local police.
  • Many modes of public transportation allow you to take your bike along. However, some offer only a small window of opportunity. Having a bicycle with you makes you mobile and flexible and even allows you to travel to faraway places.

    Trams and buses

    Bicycles may be taken free of charge on the RandstadRail trams from Monday to Friday after 19.00 hrs. and all day on the weekends. There are specially designated areas in the tram for bikes, indicated by a blue bicycle sticker. During especially busy times, it may be difficult to find space for a bicycle. In case of doubt the driver has the right to decide whether you may take your bicycle with you. No standard bicycles can be taken on the red-beige trams, the new R-net Avenio trams or buses. Folding bikes are considered carry-on luggage and can be taken on public transportation free of charge as long as they are folded before you enter the tram or bus. You must make sure they do not block the entrance or exit to the tram or bus.

    More info can be found on the website of HTM.

    Trains

    For information on taking your bicycle on the train in the Netherlands visit www.ns.nl and for an international journey visit www.nsinternational.com.

Also see: Cycling lessons for adults
Also see Cycling

Published: 20 May 2021Modified: 30 July 2021