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Court orders Brussels-City to reopen Bois de la Cambre to traffic

Ilustration shows the locked entrance of Le Bois de la Cambre - Ter Mamerenbos  BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE
07:13 13/11/2020

The civil court in Brussels issued an order on Thursday ruling in favour of the municipality of Uccle in the dispute between it and Brussels-City over the closure of the Bois de la Cambre.

Closed to car traffic by Brussels-City, which manages it, the Bois de la Cambre will have to be reopened on its south side, the court ruled. The city has 30 days to find alternatives or risk a penalty of €2,500 euros per day of delay. with a maximum of €100,000.

“Brussels-City has committed several offences of major importance in direct relation to the harm suffered by the plaintiffs,” the court order stated. “These obvious errors of assessment led it to adopt an order (...) which is ultimately tainted with illegality in the sense that it plans to close the so-called 'south' loop to traffic.”

The mayor of Uccle, Boris Dilliès immediately reacted to the court ruling on Twitter: “The tribunal has just condemned Brussels-City… it must take all measures to put an end to the situation of illegality concerning the current closure of the Bois de la Cambre.”

“I can’t say I’m surprised, but I'm a legalist,” Philippe Close, the mayor of Brussels-City, said. “Cars will be put back in the Bois de la Cambre. I think this is a shame, but tomorrow I will make a proposal that tries to reconcile the points of view of each side, through the environmental and recreational aspects, and which aligns with the judgment.”

Close will make his argument again during the meeting of representatives of Brussels-City, the Brussels-Capital Region, Uccle, Ixelles, Watermael-Boitsfort, Rhode-Sainte-Génèse and Linkebeek, which was initially scheduled for Thursday, but postponed due to the announcement of the judgment.

Written by Nick Amies

Comments

Frank Lee

Mayor Close: "Tomorrow I will make a proposal that tries to reconcile the points of view of each side."
Would have been nice if he had tried to that from the beginning, BEFORE being ordered to do so by the courts...

Nov 13, 2020 09:35
WK

Whenever BXL introduces change in favour of less pollution, better air quality etc., there will be resistance from those who are against change, in particular if the changes impacts the freedom to drive a car or create a bit of space for bikers or hikers. Closing the forest to cars is in principle the right thing to do.

Nov 16, 2020 08:31
leonard.schrank

Great news. We should restore the previous status: Open the roads in the Bois to cars during the week to allow free flowing traffic to and from the impacted communes. Close the southern portion on weekends since there is much less traffic and more park users then. Voila. "If it works, don't fix it". By the way, cars are not IN the Bois, they are on its peripheral roads. No problem for anyone who uses our beautiful Bois. Perhaps one change is to limit traffic speed to 30kph. Win/win for all.

Nov 16, 2020 10:58