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One in three Belgian drivers could avoid rush hour traffic
About 34% of the drivers sitting in traffic jams on Belgian motorways at rush hour are not on their way to work, according to a commuter study by the FPS Mobility. More than one-third of drivers therefore could perfectly arrange for their trips to take place outside of the morning and evening rush hours, the study concludes. Traffic experts call it “a bad habit of the Belgians”, but Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts claims to have a solution: road pricing during peak traffic hours.
If one in three drivers would hold off on getting behind the wheel until after traffic has cleared, it would free up entire lanes on some of the country's busiest motorways, writes Knack. Recreational trips, which have nothing to do with work, clog the Belgian roads, confirms mobility expert Kris Peeters. “The number of non-urgent transfers is increasing. It is time we ask ourselves things like: Is this necessarily a good time to head to the supermarket?”
Weyts hopes to find support for his road pricing proposal. Under the system, drivers are charged a small fee to use the roads during the morning and evening rush hours, and little to nothing for using the roads outside of those hours.