The Brussels university hospital is to ask Brussels Mobility for a meeting to discuss the possibility of moving the border of the region’s low-emissions zone (LEZ) to allow patients and visitors to avoid the zone.
At the moment, anyone travelling to or from the hospital by car has to pass through the LEZ for the short distance between exit 9 on the Ring and the hospital itself. That means that a car coming from Flanders, where its emissions are not illegal, becomes illegal for the space of about 700m.
The problem comes on the Avenue de l’Arbre Ballon, where anyone coming from the Ring encounters the first sign announcing the LEZ. The problem is that the first of the ANPR cameras that keep track of the number plates of passing cars is only a short distance further on – and drivers have no opportunity in the meantime to turn around.
“They can no longer turn back because there’s a solid white line on the road,” said Gina Volkaert, spokesperson for the hospital.
“It’s only at the roundabout by the tram stop, beyond the hospital car park, that they can turn around.”
By that time, however, the damage has been done, and anyone with the wrong type of car will have incurred a fine.
The hospital authorities now want to meet with the region’s mobility agency to discuss the possibility of moving the camera.
“We’re certainly all in favour of the LEZ, because clean air keeps people out of hospital. But our patients should at least have the choice of whether to enter the zone or not,” Volkaert said.
Brussels Mobility has yet to respond to the request for a meeting.