Using the web or a smartphone app, visitors would give their location and be offered a space nearby, available at a “reasonable price”. The system aims to make use of the many private parking spaces that lie empty during the day, to ease the pressure on parking spaces on the streets. About 750,000 cars are estimated to travel into the city every day, of which 570,000 are looking for a parking space. Surveys have shown that up to a third of journey times to Brussels can be taken up with looking for a parking space.
The pressure could become worse if an estimate by motoring organisation Touring becomes reality, cutting the total number of parking spaces in the city by 55,000. The claim concerns a proposal by Brussels environment minister Evelyne Huytebroeck to make companies pay an “environmental charge” for parking spaces they have built but do not use.
Touring claims the charge would be €500 a year and could mean the loss of 55,000 places from the already restricted supply in Brussels. Huytebroeck denied the figure was accurate and pointed out that companies could avoid the charge by putting the extra places at the disposal of local people.