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30kph speed limit proposed for whole Brussels region

Nov 13, 2017

A proposal to impose a 30kph speed limit on almost every Brussels road will be put to a lively debate in the region's parliament next week.

Mobility minister Pascal Smet and Brussels' secretary of state for road safety Bianca Debaets have included the widespread 30 zone in the region's new traffic plan, after it was first suggested by Groen member of parliament Bruno De Lille.

The two ministers say cutting speeds will improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, improve air quality and make the city a more pleasant place to live. The 30kph limit - instead of 50 - would be the general rule on all but a few major arteries.

In the last regional traffic plan, implemented in 2014, the mayors of the 19 Brussels communes were encouraged to take the intiative and make as many roads as possible 30kph. This time, De Morgen reports, enforcing speed limits would become a regional competence.

Debaets said number-plate-reading cameras that will already be installed in Brussels to police the new low-emissions zone from next year could also be used to catch speeding drivers.

She said an external contractor would be hired to issue and collect the fines, to avoid clogging up the courts. Money raised from fines would be reinvested in road safety campaigns.

Motorists' association Touring said a region-wide 30kph limit would be impossible to police: "Speed limits have to be credible, otherwise they lose public support, even in places were a 30 zone is necessary," a spokesman said.

"We understand that a 30 zone is necessary on roads without safe cycling infrastructure, but it is an unsuitable measure for many other roads."

Etterbeek mayor Vincent de Wolf, head of the MR party in the Brussels parliament, said: "I am worried about how this plan would effectively be applied."

"I am not convinced that a widespread 30kph zone is the solution in every neighbourhood. Quality of life is important, but so is free-flowing traffic. We should first focus on areas around clinics, hospitals and schools."

Benoît Cerexhe, head of the CDH group in the regional parliament, said it was not wise to remove the distinction between small neighbourhood streets and main roads.

CC_R Nov 14, 2017 08:01

People already ignore 30 by schools and 50 in rural viallges why don’t they start by enforcing this outside of BXL and then people would drive on or under rather than over. Also slow traffic already and I think this just makes it slower what they need to do is improve bike lanes and give trams and buses priority to encourage their use

salsadancer Nov 14, 2017 08:55

This is so dumb. Driving at 30 throughout the city is ridiculous. Traffic flow is already bad. If there were cameras enforcing the existing speed limits people would driving at the proper speeds. No city in the universe drives at that speed. Brussels just keeps making up new rules and then never enforcing them. Why can't the city look at other well run cities and see how they work. Brussels is such a great place but the authorities keep screwing it up.

and.hal Nov 14, 2017 11:25

Great - should have happened long ago. There is no reason what so ever for cars to go faster than 30 in the city.
This works well in many other cities, but only if it is also enforced. Seeing how poorly speed limits and parking rules are imposed at the moment gives cause for concern...

amastan5 Nov 14, 2017 11:29

1) putting 30% everywhere is going to make car engines use 2-3 rd gear which means more benzine consumption for the same covered distance....
2) this is not preventing people to use cars when going into Brussels.
3) this is not going to improve the situation unless : a) all cars are electric + b) cycling pathways are everywhere.
This is typical "histoire belge" resulting from the stupidising educational Belgian system from which our politicians are brain washed and who look for justifying their wages (more infrastructure and hence contracts to deal with...).
It is miserable as per many other issues in this country !

R.Harris Nov 14, 2017 11:56

You don't like it: use a bike, take the tram, walk, ride the underground...

CM Nov 14, 2017 13:12

Excellent - bring it on!

There are loads of cities throughout Europe rolling out generalised 30km zones. No reason why Brussels shouldn't do it as well.

patkk27 Nov 14, 2017 22:57

If its for emissions then thats a wrong move, engines rpm will be higher in a lower gear burning more fuel, secondly there are too many one way streets meaning you have to travel longer distances chugging out more pollution, obviously no entry road signs only shifts the problem elsewhere creating more traffic, I think there's the need for a rethink.

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