Stop & Drop areas on Markt square and Vrijthof square in use again
Hotel, restaurant, and café owners as well as their suppliers, the municipality of Maastricht and Maastricht Bereikbaar’s urban approach are closely collaborating to ensure that businesses can be stocked in a newer and cleaner way. One of the top priorities is the implementation of dedicated loading and unloading areas for environmentally friendly delivery of stocks to restaurants and cafés in Maastricht's city centre; in other words the Stop & Drop locations.
‘Hotels, restaurants, cafés, shops, and businesses are important and we need them. However, we also want to work together to improve the quality of life in the city. We want to reduce the emissions of harmful substances so that we can improve the quality of life and health of people,’ explains Municipal executive Gert-Jan Krabbendam, chair of the Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar steering committee. ‘The “Stop & Drop” project definitely contributes to our common aim and it is great to see the Hotel, restaurant, and café sector and their logistics partners joining forces for this.’
More environmentally friendly loading and unloading of goods
Earlier this year, the participating hotel, restaurant, and café suppliers Sligro, Hanos, Bidfood, Daily Fresh Food, and Becker-Royen tried using electricity as an alternative method of powering the cooling units in their lorries. They connected the cooling units to underground facilities at six locations on Markt square and four locations at Vrijthof square (because their lorries normally wait at these locations for a long time) because they deliver goods to multiple clients from these two squares. This meant that the lorries could switch off their diesel engines as they loaded and unloaded goods. As a result, CO2 emissions were reduced, less noise was produced, and the lorries did not need to drive as far as they normally would.
Improved quality of stay
In mid-March, hotels, restaurants, and cafés were forced to close because of the coronavirus measures. Businesses in the city centre were hardly being supplied. As hotels, restaurants, and cafés reopened from 1 June, Maastricht is getting busier and these businesses are being supplied once more. The lorries of wholesalers that supply to hotels, restaurants, and cafés are once again using electricity from underground electricity facilities on Vrijthof square and Markt square to power their cooling units. ‘We can finally continue supplying the necessary goods to restaurants and cafés in the city centre, now that hotels, restaurants, and cafés have reopened. Furthermore, we are happy with the underground electricity facilities that power our cooling units. In this way, we can contribute to the quality of life in Maastricht's city centre,’ explain the participating hotel, restaurant, and café suppliers. John Paulus adds the following on behalf of the Koninklijke Horeca Nederland Afdeling Maastricht en Heuvelland (the Maastricht and Limburg Hill Country department of the Dutch trade association for the hotel and catering industry), ‘For visitors to Maastricht, Stop & Drop improves the quality of their stay – an essential condition to conduct business in a way that accommodates guests. It also improves the quality of life of Maastricht residents.’
A future-proof city
Louis Prompers, programme director for Maastricht Bereikbaar’s urban approach (a project of Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar) is proud to lead this project on behalf of the Municipality of Maastricht. ‘This is something we all need to aspire to: a future-proof city for its residents and businesses. The city needs to offer a better experience than a “functional” visit to the city to buy things. That is why people value the quality of their stay. Thanks to the combined efforts of entrepreneurs, residents, and the government, Maastricht is headed for a sustainable future that will improve the quality of life and economic vitality in the city and encourage current and future consumers to come and stay and shop in Maastricht.