Brussels braces for return of commuters around pedestrian zone

Summary

The City of Brussels is launching a new online platform and calling for commuters to avoid the Anspach area on Monday as workers and students return in force

Real-time info

The new pedestrian zone in the centre of Brussels is about to be put to the test, as schools and normal work schedules resume next week. The zone was already the cause of traffic chaos when it was introduced in late June.

Since then, traffic has eased up in the capital because of the summer holidays. Next week sees schools starting and most commuters back to work. The new car-free zone along Anspachlaan (pictured) extends from De Brouckèreplein to Fontainasplein. Traffic is diverted in a huge loop around the area.

Brussels-City is calling on commuters to avoid using their cars in the area next week if at all possible. Police are warning that they will carry out more strict enforcement of the laws inside the new pedestrian area, such as stopping cyclists who are riding too fast, which has been a problem this summer.

The city, in co-operation with Brussels Mobility, is launching a new online platform on Monday to provide the public with real-time traffic information. 

Traffic in Flanders

Thousands of commuters and foreigners pass through Brussels and Flanders each day, and the two regions have suffered from heavily congested traffic and long and frequent traffic jams for years – with no end seemingly in sight.
Record - According to the 2013 report from traffic information platform Inrix, Brussels and Antwerp have the most traffic congestion of any city in Europe and North America.
Calendar - October is the worst month of the year for traffic jams.
Causes - Year after year, heavy snowfall and railway strikes lead to monster traffic jams. Heavy congestion, infrastructure works and multi-lane accidents cause the more ordinary daily tailbacks.
1 285

largest area covered in traffic ever recorded in Belgium in kilometres

70

time Antwerp drivers spend in gridlock per year in hours

10 000

traffic diversions in Flanders per year