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Car Free Sunday: What you need to know

Credit: Jules Johnston

The streets of Brussels – and many Belgian cities – will again be free of cars for one day on 19 September, with the annual Car Free Sunday event set to take over the Capital Region.

As in previous years, most motorised vehicles are banned from entering Brussels between 9:30 AM and 7:00 PM on this date, as the streets usually filled with cars become spaces for activities. 

There are, however, some rules. Here’s what you need to know:

When is it?

Technically car-free Sunday closes the Brussels-Capital Region between 9:30 AM and 7:00 PM, but that doesn’t mean everything reopens bang on 7:00 PM. 

Public transport is free 

Public transport in the region will be free on the day for the full time of service.

But you can’t take your bike on a bus

STIB says bicycles are prohibited on buses (and old trams).

There are lots of official events planned

From the official inauguration of the award-nominated old station of Laeken to a workshop to make your bike bell truly unique, a lot is going on. 

For a full list of events, check here.

There are probably other events too

The city is full of events, with previous years featuring group cycling and chalk art. The best way to find these is just to walk (or cycle) around. 

If your bike breaks, there are repair workshops throughout the day

A problem with your brakes, a squeaky chain, or a flat tyre? Join a workshop to learn how to solve the problem with the help of a professional technician:

  • 95, Rue Voot, 1200 Woluwe-St-Lambert: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • 40, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1160 Auderghem: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • 171, Rue Gray, 1050 Ixelles : 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Not ALL cars are banned

This is an important one to note. As with every year, there are exemptions to the ban on motorised vehicles. These are: 

  • Vehicles of public transport (STIB,  TEC,  De Lijn)
  • Taxis
  • Vehicles of emergency services
  • Coaches
  • Vehicles of public interest
  • Press vehicles (with sign)
  • Vehicles of minibus type (8 + 1 places) bearing the initials HORECA
  • People with disabilities who possess the special card (article 27.4.3 d of the Royal Order of 1 December, 1975 concerning general regulation of the road traffic police)
  • Vehicles with a CD license plate (diplomatic corps)
  • People with a pass delivered by the authorities

The Brussels Ring Road will also be open, but the entries to the Brussels-Capital Region itself will be closed.

But they have to drive carefully

Vehicles authorised to circulate in Brussels on this day will have to respect a maximum speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour.

It’s too late to apply for an exemption pass

If you don’t fall under the criteria above, but require a car, it’s too late to apply for exemption from the rules. Applications were possible online until 10 September. 

Got another tip? Some more info? Let us know.

More information on Car Free Sunday in Belgium can be found here.

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