Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced this week.
By relying on live reports from cyclists on the road, the VRT radio service will warn bike commuters of issues ranging from hazards such as icy roads to paths and routes rendered unusable by accidents.
VRT will broadcast these alerts on Radio 1, Radio 2, MNM and Studio Brussel to help cyclists avoid such problems. The aim is to keep cyclists informed before they even set off on their journey, as checking the app or riding with headphones is unsafe.
This news comes as Brussels continues to expand cycling routes in the city, including plans for a new route to the airport and as Belgium pushes for a countrywide cycling plan.
“If more people cycle, this is good for our economy, because the costs of traffic jams are sky-high,” said Minister of Mobility Georges Gilkinet told De Standaard. “Cycling is also good for our physical health and mental well-being: cycling makes you happy and is real freedom. And of course, cycling also has a positive impact on our climate.”
According to research by human resources company SD Worx, the number of employees cycling to work in Belgium has dropped by a third since before the coronavirus crisis. The distances covered, however, are longer.
The crisis has also seen considerable increases in the use of electric bicycles over the last year: 40% in Wallonia and 47% in Brussels. Over three years in Flanders, one in three bike users have been riding electric models.
Cyclists can report incidents on the service using the Fietsersbond app, available in Google Play and the App Store.