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Nearly 50,000 sign petition against Brussels’ new 30kph zone

15:50 04/01/2021

Nearly 50,000 people have signed the petition against the new 30kph zone in the Brussels region. The new speed limit, which covers 85% of the roads in the capital, came into force on 1 January.

The region has ushered in the new traffic law to improve air quality, cut down on noise pollution and prevents accidents. Some neighbourhoods, such as in Koekelberg and Schaerbeek, have seen several pedestrian deaths in recent years due to speeding traffic.

Brussels authorities studied the effects of the same measure in other world cities, such as Grenoble, Oslo and Bilbao. All saw a reduction in road deaths and serious injuries. In Helsinki, deaths and serious injuries have dropped by two-thirds since the 30kph zone was introduced.

The petition on was started by someone called Dorian Van Peteghem, who offers no information about themselves. “Stop the Zone 30, a project that is completely insane,” it reads. “Drivers should be punished, not all citizens! Justice does not work in Belgium and so we use grand gestures instead. But this is not a solution; it further paralyses Brussels, where public transport is inefficient!”

The petition lists several recipients to whom it will be addressed, including federal road safety agency Vias and Brussels mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt.

Previously, some 60% of the streets in the capital were subject to a 30kph speed limit. That figure is now 85%, but there are exceptions, such as so-called liveable streets, where speed limits can be as low as 20, and major arteries, where it can be as high as 70.

Drivers should assume that the maximum speed is 30  unless otherwise indicated. The new regulation applies to all vehicles, including bikes and buses, but not to trams.

Photo ©Virginie Lefour/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw



Brussels Puhlic Transport might not be the best, but it is very efficient, indeed. I guess that this guy never tried public transport.

As a resident of Brussels, I appreciate the 30 kph approach. Brussels is suffocating in Cars and finally somebody does something against it.

Most people who complain live outside the city or in its wealthy suburbs. They don't have to swallow the dirt of their cars on a regular basis.

Jan 5, 2021 04:20

It is the selfishness of car drivers that gets me. The biggest obstacle to the greater efficiency of buses and trams in the city is the sheer number of cars blocking key arteries. A single occupant in a car can easily slow down the journey time for 40 people on a bus. Give me a break with your inefficiency wailing about Brussels public transport. Bring on 20 kph for cars I say!

Jan 5, 2021 09:31

30km/h = BULLSHIT !

Jan 6, 2021 02:53

1. cars/engines are not designed to go 30. they emit more CO2 and other harmful substances at that low speed (1-2 gear). the minister admitted it.
2. the public transport is even less efficient at 30. Have you seen those crawling buses? Just look at nr-71 - its a joke. i could walk faster sometimes.
3. there is a clear division bw those having a car and not (60-40 in bxl). if you are only on your bike you will never understand how annoying it is to drive at 30. Btw electric bikes reach 35 easily these days...who is breaking speed limits then?
4. before 30-reform average speed in Brussels was 37...Its a small difference (i know opposition will cry difference of 5 can mean life or death blah blah but i disagree that BXL had a significant road safely issue before hand. i drive here for 10+ years). there were bad apples but the rest of drivers should not pay.
5. the biggest problem that such a radical speed reform shows how disconnected govt is from the bxl people. they pushed the law without any serious debate (e.g. referendum/serious survey)... 58k people signing a petition in 5 days is a serious signal to this govt. that wants to push through reforms in a lockdown environment when people can not protest properly.
6. All this smells like a wish to put a mouthguard on the unruly Brussels which has always been at odds with other BE regions. Now it's 30, next year - road charging - what is next? Pietonier all over? Brussels which has been massively hit by the pandemic is in need of good news and more liberty, not more restrictions and finger wagging from the Belgian ruling class.

Jan 6, 2021 18:11
John P

Make that 70.000 signatures and counting.
It is absolutely "low" to spread such nonsense about the speed limit and pedestrian deaths. It is despicable to capitalize upon peoples deaths to pass bad laws.
1) Why don't they show us the real statistics, like how many pedestrian deaths and injuries where due to which excess speed? Simple, because in most cases it's the excessive speed that's the culprit i.e. 80 on a 50 zone, 120 on a 70 zone etc etc.
2) Why the crawling speed of 100 on the ring? I'll tell you why: because they are too lazy to redesign the lane usage and the entry-exit points of the ring. The ring is so badly designed that they desperately hope that if everyone slows down enough, it will stop being at a standstill all hours of the day and night. So lets make it a 70 or even 50kph ring so the whole world can laugh loud enough to be heard while you sit in your cushiony well paid-for parliament seats.
But what better could you ever expect from people who have thought of and have signed the law of "road charging" with the use of 24/7 total camera surveillance, which of course is TOTALLY ILLEGAL all around the world (except maybe in authoritarian, social-credit-fascism, China).

A message to all of you non car users:
Don't cry when the same cameras come charging you an arm and a leg to ride your bicycle or electric/plain scooter.
a message to all you anti-car pedestrians:
Don't cry when the same cameras slap you with a 200-300 euro fine for looking at your phone while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk.
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN a car, I love BRU public transport even though it's probably the worst I have seen in Europe, I cycle all year round to every destination at which I do not care if I arrive wet from the rain (otherwise I take the metro-tram-bus).

Feb 3, 2021 01:02