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Motorway service area is first in Belgium to ban alcohol

20:26 01/09/2017

A motorway service station on the outskirts of Brussels has become the first in Belgium to ban the sale of alcohol - with more expected to follow.

The ban will apply to all shops and restaurants at Bierges service area on the E411 Brussels-Namur motorway near Walibi theme park in Wavre.

The change has been made possible because, from 1 September, the contract to operate the service area has changed hands from Esso to Total.

Sofico, the Walloon agency responsible for the upkeep of motorways, says service areas at Waremme on the E40 and Sprimont and Hondelange on the E25 towards Luxembourg are due to follow by 2020. Others will follow when existing contracts come up for renewal.

A spokesman for road safety body IBSR said the measure was "highly symbolic". "This needs to be extended to all motorway rest areas," he said.

"Drink-driving still causes too many deaths in our country. We are lagging behind some other European countries in the fight against this."