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Tram 71 plan scrapped as Brussels unveils new transport map

01:17 20/10/2015

A plan to turn Brussels' most overcrowded bus route, line 71, into a high-capacity tramline has been abandoned until at least 2025.

The city's mobility minister Pascal Smet has unveiled a 10-year public transport plan that will see the creation of four new bus routes and changes to dozens of other lines - but the idea of running tram tracks down the Chaussée d'Ixelles has been shelved.

Smet said an alternative solution - with more consultation with Ixelles residents - was needed to ease congestion on bus 71, which links De Brouckère in the city centre with Delta, via Porte de Namur and Place Flagey.

Ixelles green party councillor Céline Delforge said: "We condemn this decision, which shows that the regional government has given in to reactionary local powers."

One option being considered is a bus lane along parts of the route, with vehicles given priority at traffic lights.

Bus 71 carries 24,000 passengers a day - and despite running at six-minute intervals in peak time, it is frequently overcrowded. 

Meanwhile, four new bus routes will enter service between 2017 and 2019 as part of a major overhaul of Brussels' public transport map.

They include line 56 from Schuman via Schaerbeek to Neder-over-Heembeek, one of several Brussels suburbs reporting a population boom. Bus 52 will link the centre of Forest with Brussels central station, via Saint-Gilles.

The STIB airport bus will carry the number 12 at all times - instead of switching to 21 at evenings and weekends.

A public consultation on the new routes will run from November to January. Also included in the new plan is the purchase of 235 electric buses by 2018.

The new (draft) map can be seen here.

Photo: Wikimedia/Licensed under Creative Commons

Written by Paul McNally



No one has explained why a metro line to replace bus 71 has not been considered.....

Oct 22, 2015 01:01