Congestion on Brussels Ring: Weyts reveals action plan

Summary

A number of lane changes on the Brussels Ring should get traffic moving more smoothly, according to Flanders’ mobility minister

Several changes

Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts has announced a plan aimed at improving traffic flow on the Brussels Ring, the RO. The plan involves changing road markings at main junctions where the Ring meets the A12, E19 and E40.

The Brussels Ring – most of which is located in Flemish Brabant – is the scene of tailbacks on an almost daily basis; the timing for the section between Groot-Bijgaarden and Zaventem has become almost a standard unit in Belgium.

One of the worst junctions is the A201 approach road to Brussels Airport, both for traffic to the airport and traffic leaving the airport for the Ring or E19. Weyts’ plan involves splitting the lanes more efficiently to avoid tailbacks. Traffic for the Ring and E19 will no longer hold up lanes heading into Brussels or Vilvoorde.

In Groot-Bijgaarden, changes will be made to the interchange with the E40 in the direction of the coast, with motorists making better use of the right-hand lane. At Strombeek-Bever, changes will be made to the connection with the A12 direction Antwerp, opening up the second right-hand lane to traffic taking the A12.

Over at Kraainem, at the junction with the E40 direction Leuven, traffic coming out of Brussels and using the left-hand lane will no longer have to merge right, making traffic flow faster and safer. Finally, at the Leonard junction in Tervuren, traffic coming from Namur on the E411 will be directed so as to make more use of the right-hand lane, easing congestion at peak times.

Earlier this year, the minister announced that large-scale works on the RO would begin in 2019, with extra lanes being added along 20 kilometres, splitting local from through traffic.

Photo: Thierry Roge/BELGA

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