Ambitious anti-traffic jam plan unveiled

29th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Flemish Transport Minister Kathleen Van Brempt has unveiled an ambitious plan to reduce congestion on the nation's roads, but traffic experts have warned her proposals will fail if she goes it alone.

29 November 2005

BRUSSELS — Flemish Transport Minister Kathleen Van Brempt has unveiled an ambitious plan to reduce congestion on the nation's roads, but traffic experts have warned her proposals will fail if she goes it alone.

With Belgian motorists spending 5.4 million hours every year in traffic jams while commuting to work, Van Brempt aims to reduce the number of vehicles on the road by 10 percent by 2010.

To achieve this, the Socialist SP.A minister hopes to convince more workers to travel by bike or with public transport. And if workers really need to use the car, Van Brempt aims to persuade them to join car pools.

Prior to the granting of permits for the construction of a new business area, Van Brempt is demanding careful studies are conducted into the impact on traffic.

And traffic experts said the latter proposal was "a good point in a laudable plan", but also pointed out the policy should have been implemented 20 years ago, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Tuesday.

"Currently, business terrains are still being built in areas where no public transport is. If we finally stop with those sorts of stupidities, we can actually push back car traffic," the experts said.

However, the traffic experts have also warned that the plan will fail if Van Brempt goes it alone. A traffic expert at the Limburg University, Willy Miermans, said the minister's areas of authority were too limited.

"How can we work out an efficient transport policy if the portfolios of special planning, transport and environment are divided between three ministers of the Flemish government? And they are also ministers of three different parties," Miermans said.

According to Johan De Mol, traffic safety academic at Ghent University, every Flemish minister needs to get behind Van Brempt's plan.

"If the other ministers continue making decisions without taking into account the consequences for transport, they will continue pushing people into the car. Van Brempt will only be able to beat her head against a wall," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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