Government proposes 33 measures to ease Antwerp traffic

Summary

The government of Flanders and Antwerp city council have agreed to a “quick win” proposal to ease traffic in and around the port city while the Oosterweel project awaits a decision

Extended use of rush-hour lanes one important measure

The government of Flanders and Antwerp city council have agreed to 33 “quick win” ideas to tackle the problem of traffic congestion in Antwerp while awaiting a final outcome of the Oosterweel link project.

The measures include the use of rush-hour lanes, better road signs, safety improvements at entry and exit from the Kennedy tunnel, increased use of the Thijsman tunnel and improvements to crossroads, bus lanes, ramps and cycle paths. The measures, if implemented, would cost “tens of millions of euros,” according to minister-president Kris Peeters, presenting the measures together with Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever.

The proposal led to heated debate in the Flemish parliament, with the opposition criticising the government for not going far enough. The Oosterweel link is intended to complete the Antwerp Ring, easing congestion all round, but that is still years away.

Suggestions not yet taken up by the government include making the Liefkenshoek tunnel wholly or partially toll-free, building emergency bridges over the Singel and improving traffic flows on connecting roads around the city.