While the focus of traffic planning in Groningen was in the 1970s how to keep out the through traffic from the inner city, that in the 1980s was how to keep out the through traffic from residential neighbourhoods around the inner city and how to connect the inner city to surrounding areas, including the region.
However, the municipality had to, first of all, wind up the dispute around the Traffic Circulation Plan (Verkeerscirculatieplan, VCP), which dragged on even in the 1980s, with investigating its effect and, if necessary, modifying the plan.
This paper focuses on this process of modifying the VCP, which had proceeded through demands for its deregulation from the business community and been completed in 1982. After evaluating the effect of the VCP based on various investigations, it will analyse how the VCP had been modified, particularly in terms of its principle, which simultaneously constituted a part of the party frameworks of the Labour Party.
The VCP had clearly positive effects on traffic and environment in the inner city, while the effect on economy turned out to be, at least, not so bad as insisted by the business community. Relying on these facts, political leaders of the Labour Party kept the modification to a minimum, maintaining their party frameworks, and, as a result, could integrate public sentiments in the modification, although the opportunities for public participation were limited.