Wednesday's traffic jams cost Belgium 20 million

12th February 2010, Comments 0 comments

All told Belgians spent 200,000 hours stuck in traffic jams on Wednesday. Transport and Mobility Leuven (TML) has calculated that this cost teh country 20 million euros.

On Wednesday there were a record 950 km of jams on Belgian motorways. On secondary roads too there were problems.

TML calculated that the jams on the motorways cost around 2 million euros. The problems on secondary roads were three to four times greater, resulting in losses of some 10 million euros.

Add to that the economic cost of people arriving late for work and you get a grand total of 20 million euros.

TML also raises questions about the economic cost of proposals aimed at getting lorries off the roads in the event of heavy snowfall.

TML's Isaak Yperman says that the value to the economy of a lorry is five times that of a car. He adds: "There are pros and cons to any such proposal. These need to be examined first, before any such measure is introduced."

No chaos on Thursday
Fortunately, the situation of the roads was far less problematic on Thursday. There was some snowfall, but none of the terrible chaos we saw on Wednesday. A lot of people started out early, easing congestion during the rush hour.

Here and there carriageways had not been gritted and were unusable due to the snow. Bus services were disrupted in the Antwerp and Aalst areas.

Snow is lying in Antwerp, East Flanders, Brussels, Flemish Brabant and Limburg.

More lighter snow showers are forecast.

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