Traffic will slow down to 30km/h
An aging population, the rampant use of cars in everyday life and the increase in number of trucks will cause traffic jams even during non-peak hours.29 May 2008
BRUSSELS - In the next 20 years, traffic in Belgium will take on preposterous dimensions.
While terrible traffic jams may not yet be part of everyday life, chances are that they will be in two decades. If no measures are taken, the number of kilometres covered by car will go up by 17 percent.
The increase is due to the short spins taken in Belgians’ leisure time, whether it is using the four wheels to do neighbourhood shopping or taking the car to go on holiday.
Because of the extra kilometres, traffic will become increasingly dense in the next few years, even outside the rush hour.
Ageing plays an important part too. People live longer so there are increasingly more drivers and in contrast to their predecessors, many of the female pensioners also have a driving licence.
According to a study by the Federal Planning Office, lorry traffic especially will increase substantially.
By 2030, lorries and trucks are expected to cover 50 per cent more kilometres than they are doing now.
Experts believe motorways will not only be silted during rush hour but also in the hours before and after that. Traffic jams would then expand to secondary roads and cause traffic in general to slow down to an average 30 km/h.
Alarming as it may seem, the Plan Office’s prognosis does not take into account any potential policy measures. Introducing a mileage toll and improving the existing public transport facilities could do small wonders too, the Plan Office suggests.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]