Belgian news in brief, 17 October 2005
School bus hit by train
Two children travelling on a school bus narrowly escaped an accident in Antoing in Wallonia. The bus was crossing an intersection on a train track at 1pm on Monday when the driver experienced clutch problems. He decided to evacuate the two children from the bus, in time to save them from the train travelling from Perwez to Tournai which crashed into the bus. The train pushed the bus 50 metres along the track. The children were uninjured and the driver suffered only minor injuries.
Competition imminent on Belgian railways
Belgium’s rail company SNCB and the small cargo company D&L Cargo could soon face stiffer competition from foreign companies. The economics newspaper De Tijd reported that the French SNCF, the Dutch Railion and the German company Rail4Chem have all either obtained or are in the process of obtaining a licence to operate in Belgium. Under EU rules, the rail network must be open to free competition by next January.
Eurostar attracts more and more passengers
Travelling on the Eurostar is becoming increasingly popular, according to the company’s latest figures. The first nine months of this year saw a 4.3 percent rise in the number of passengers, representing 5.63 million extra people. In August, Eurostar transported 64 percent of the amount of passengers which flew between London and Brussels – a rise in 30 percent in two years.
Police strike over shift planning
Around 100 federal police officers picketed the entrance to a Brussels police station on Monday morning, preventing uniformed cars from leaving. They said the industrial action, from 6am to 9am, at Boulevard General Jacques in Etterbeek, was a protest over the station’s shift planning. Officers complain they receive their shift timetable very late, sometimes just a few hours before they have to be on duty.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news