The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Pressure groups call for protected cycle lanes in over-30kph zones

Illustration picture shows a bicycle travelling along a cycle lane in central Brussels (BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ)
07:30 02/03/2021

In a petition, which has already garnered more than 350 signatures, road safety advocates Heroes for Zero and Velodossier BXL are demanding physically separated cycle paths in all areas of Brussels where vehicles are allowed to drive faster than 30kph.

Heroes for Zero, the pressure group campaigning for zero road deaths in the city, and bicycle action organisation Velodossier BXL, say they are satisfied with the introduction of the general Zone 30 in Brussels but want the authorities to go further to protect cyclists on roads which still have a faster speed limit.

"Since 1 January 2021, there has been a speed limit of 30kph in many Brussels streets. Until the end of last year, 30kph was the speed limit for 60% of Brussels roads, today it is almost 85% of them. This is excellent news," the groups said in a press release.

However, according to Heroes for Zero and Velodossier BXL, it is extremely important that the 15% of Brussels roads where cars drive faster than 30kph are given a separate cycle path.

"The results of a large-scale study conducted in 12 different cities are very clear,” the groups continued. “After analysing 17,000 fatal collisions and 77,000 incidents resulting in very serious injuries, it was found that physically segregated cycle paths lead to half as many victims. A lick of paint on the road does not protect a child on a bicycle, a physical obstacle often does."

The petition follows the death of a 30-year-old woman who was killed on 20 February in Brussels when she crossed a zebra crossing in Forest with her bike and was hit by a car. Cyclists, local residents and family members gathered to pay tribute to her last Friday.

The action groups understand that the construction of such cycle paths takes time and therefore ask for a 30kph zone to be temporarily introduced on the roads where the cycle path is not yet physically separated from car traffic.

Written by Nick Amies