The ANWB has so far had to provide 40 percent less roadside assistance to Dutch people in the popular European holiday countries this summer than last year. That says ANWB spokesperson Markus van Tol in conversation with NU.nl.
Many Dutch people have chosen to go on holiday in their own country this summer because of the corona pandemic. The ANWB took this into account beforehand, but it is now also showing in figures: “We are now already at 94 percent of what we normally do in roadside assistance in the Netherlands, and then the summer is not over yet,” he says.
Traditionally, the ANWB has summer roadside assistance at work in France, the most popular holiday destination for the Dutch. Last year there were twelve and now there are six. Three roadside assistance officers were stationed in Italy last year and none this summer. The ANWB had decided this in advance on the basis of the expected offer and that decision has worked out well so far, according to Van Tol.
Last weekend was the first black Saturday of the year in France. That traditionally means peak traffic on the French roads. Although the workload for the ANWB lagged 22 percent on the first black Saturday of last year, the emergency services of the Emergency Center still had 10 percent more Dutch people on the line with car trouble than the union had expected.
The ANWB has carried out some 160 car repairs in France so far this summer. These are the five most common reasons why Dutch people called roadside assistance:
- The car stutters or loses power.
- Lights that indicate malfunctions.
- The car does not start.
- Flat tire and no spare tire.
- Flat tire and have a spare tire.
‘We have to make constant adjustments’
According to Van Tol, it characterizes the unpredictability that the corona crisis entails. In contrast to earlier summers, the ANWB must continuously focus on the holiday behavior of the Dutchman who participates in the vagaries of the corona virus.
“What characterizes the summer for us is that we constantly have to make adjustments and see how many people we think we need each week, while we could often already determine the occupation for the summer,” he says. “That’s how the corona crisis makes this summer so much more distinct.”