Brussels wins road safety award at international cycling ceremony

Brussels wins road safety award at international cycling ceremony
Cyclists enjoy free reign of the roads on Car Free Sunday in Brussels. Credit: Orlando Whitehead

The Brussels Region has won the road safety award at this year’s international cycling conference for its ambitions to improve the safety of cyclists on its roads.

In recent years, the region has been working to improve the safety of cyclists on Brussels’ roads, by introducing a generalised 30-kph zone, constructing more efficient bike infrastructure such as cyclist bridges, and the adaptation of dangerous intersections and crossings.

“The Brussels-Capital Region has been implementing ambitious mobility and road safety goals, introducing a 30km/h speed limit across the region at the start of 2021. In the first year, the measure contributed to a 50% reduction in road fatalities,” Jill Warren, CEO of ECF, said. The organisation also praised the roll-out of car-free neighbourhoods.

Beginning of efforts

Brussels Minister of Mobility Elke Van den Brandt received the award from the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) during the Velo-city conference in Ljubljana, the largest cycling conference in the world.

“Brussels is determined to reach zero traffic fatalities by 2030. That demands bold decisions and constructive collaboration between the different layers of government,” Van den Brandt said following the award ceremony.

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She stressed that these measures are only the beginning of the region’s efforts. “We won’t rest until we reach zero traffic fatalities in the Brussels Capital Region.”

The goal was presented in December as part of the new Road Safety Action Plan, aiming for zero road deaths or serious road injuries by 2030 after missing the targets it set for 2020, despite making large improvements.

Van den Brandt arriving on a bicycle to a meeting of the consultative committee in December 2020. Credit: Belga/ Benoit Doppagne

“This marks the only acceptable ambition in the area of road safety for everyone in our region: zero deaths or serious traffic injuries,” Van den Brandt said.

The region and its mobility minister have already received four other awards for its mobility politics in the last two years for the efforts made to give public space back to the people and for drastically reducing road casualties.

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