In an opinion piece in BN De Stem, attention is paid to the rapid disappearance of bus lines in villages and outlying areas. According to Paul van de Coevering, lecturer in Mobility and Urbanization at BUAS, the disappearance of the bus connection could lead to young people leaving for the cities.
The book “How God disappeared from Jorwerd” by Geert Mak is a socio-historical investigation into the disappearance of religion from a Frisian village. The book describes how the village of Jorwerd, located in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands, changed from a strongly religious village into a community without any form of overt religious practice. According to Mak, the disappearance of religion in Jorwerd was the result of a combination of factors, including changing economic and social conditions, the emergence of new ideas about religion and belief, and the growing influence of the media and science.
The book also looks at the consequences of the disappearance of religion in Jorwerd, such as the loss of a sense of community and the emergence of new forms of social cohesion. Mak concludes that the disappearance of religion in Jorwerd was not only the result of individual choices, but also of structural changes in society. He emphasizes that the disappearance of religion in Jorwerd is not unique, but that this phenomenon is occurring in more and more places in the world.
The question is whether the disappearance of the bus will directly lead to transport poverty? Not for most residents, who have their own car and have sufficient resources. The trend is not only felt in Jorwerd. The character of many areas is changing because the facilities and functions of banks, local shops, supermarkets and public transport are slowly but surely disappearing. Society is changing and hardening at a rapid pace, visible through the vacancy in shopping centers and palpable through the slow disappearance of many facilities that we considered quite normal for decades.
Public transport is losing money due to the decrease in passenger numbers. Add to that a lack of staff, and the conclusion is quickly drawn. The sum is often a reason for transport companies to scrap bus lines and to use the available resources differently. According to van de Coevering, most of the money is spent on increasing the capacity in our transport system to reduce congestion and delays. The limit to what the national government can help has been reached and that government cannot solve the aging population either. Older people who do not drive a car are also vulnerable and with the increasing aging of the population, the size of the latter group will increase in the future, according to the opinion piece further.
After all, driving around with a practically empty bus is not efficient from the point of view of prosperity, well-being and sustainability, says van de Coevering. It is important that there is an integrated look at the regional level at the challenges and possible solutions for different groups in society.
Jorwerd (officially, Frisian: Jorwertlisten)) is a village in the municipality of Leeuwarden, in the Dutch province of Friesland. It is located southwest of the city of Leeuwarden exactly between the villages of Mantgum, Baard, Lions, Jellum and Weidum. The village center is located where the Jaanvaart meets the Jorwerdervaart. In 2021, the village had 310 inhabitants.