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Brussels' new pedestrian zone debuts on Monday

12:39 25/06/2015

The face of Brussels’ city centre is about to change radically – for pedestrians, for users of public transport and, above all, for drivers. The new pedestrian zone makes its debut on Monday, 29 June. Said to be the biggest in Europe, it covers an area of about 50 hectares. 

The biggest change will be for drivers in the Bourse area. Here is some handy info for figuring it all out.

• The car-free zone along Jacqmainlaan extends from Place De Brouckère to Place Fontainas, on the other side of the Bourse. Traffic coming from theNorth Station direction is diverted via Rue Van Artevelde and Rue des Six Jetons, Rue des Alexiens, Boulevard de l'Empereur and Rue du Fosse aux Loups, all one-way, in a huge counter-clockwise loop. Traffic entering the Bourse area coming from the South Station end, will join the loop at Rue des Bogards to exit at Boulevard Adolphe Max (one way) or Rue de Laeken, which remains two-way.

• Traffic approaching the Bourse from the east, from the direction of Rue de la Loi and the European quarter, will come in on Rue des Colonies, while traffic from the west will enter via Chaussee de Gand and Rue Antoine Dansaert, or via  Chaussee de Ninove and the inner ring-road.

• New bus service 86 will tour the traffic loop around the pedestrian zone to help bring motorists back to their cars.

• The existing pedestrian zone around Grand Place (photo) remains as it is. The new zone includes the central Boulevard Anspach and side streets, as well as the section of Rue de Midi between Rue du Lombard and Rue des Bogards and between Rue des Pierres and Rue du Marche au Charbon.

• Extra cycle paths are provided in side streets adjoining the pedestrian zone, including Rue de Flandre, Rue Antoine Dansaert, Rue d'Accolay and Putterie.

• Buses 29, 47, 66, 71 and 88 continue to terminate at De Brouckère but are relocated slightly.  Lines 48 and 95 now terminate at Grand Place, but will continue to serve Rue du Lombard. Metro lines 1 and 5 and pre-metro 3 and 4 are unaffected by the changes.

• People who live within the new pedestrian areas can get special badges to be able to drive and park in their streets.

Complete information can be found on the city of Brussels circulation plan website.

Written by Alan Hope