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Traffic snarls as commuters meet holiday exodus

17:06 29/06/2018

The holiday traffic has begun, with tailbacks appearing on Belgium’s motorways as early as yesterday afternoon and reappearing this morning. As works were carried out in preparation for the Leopold II tunnel closure, yesterday was one of the worst days for traffic in Brussels this year.

Yesterday’s EU summit, the closure of two of the three Reyers tunnels, preparation for Leopold II and summer holiday drivers meant that traffic was snarled throughout the city. There were 320 kilometres of tailbacks at 17.30 and still 200 kilometres by 19.00. Around Meiser the gridlock was so complete that police were at the scene to direct traffic.

This afternoon looks like something of a repeat. At 16.30, there were already 300 kilometres of traffic jams as commuter traffic – made worse by the train strike – met the summer holiday exodus.

VRT reports that the traffic is the worst in the larger cities and on the E40 and the E313. “It’s not only the last day of school in our country but also in the surrounding countries,” said a spokesperson. “They’re all going on holiday, too. Many Germans are driving through Belgium on their way to the coast or to France.”

People are advised to stay off the motorways for the next few hours unless absolutely necessary and to use public transport within Brussels and Antwerp.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw