Brussels government wants to lend out wheelchairs in pedestrian zones

Brussels government wants to lend out wheelchairs in pedestrian zones
The Brussels government is looking into places from which to lend out wheelchairs in the pedestrian zones. Credit: Belga

The Brussels Region is looking into the possibility of starting a service to lend out wheelchairs in the car parks and metro stations below the pedestrian zone.

Brussels Mobility is studying the possibility of lending out wheelchairs underneath or very close to the pedestrian zone on the Boulevard Anspach in the city centre, to increase the accessibility of the zone for people with reduced mobility. The study will probably result in a pilot project, according to Elke Van den Brandt, the Brussels Minister for Mobility.

"Not only people with disabilities could use such a service," said Van den Brandt, reports Bruzz. "Anyone who has broken their leg or is pregnant can also use such a wheelchair. I, myself, was once offered one in a shop when I was pregnant and was very grateful for it," she added.

"For people with reduced mobility, the car is a symbol of autonomy. Certain categories of the population cannot take advantage of the creation of the pedestrian zones, and are excluded from these new avenues, which are supposed to promote social cohesion and build positive relations," said Brussels MP Marc Loewenstein, reports BX1.

However, the pedestrian zones are already very accessible, according to the minister. People with disabilities were taken into account when installing the elevators in the pre-metro stations as well as in the choice of flooring. Additionally, taxis are allowed into the zone to pick up people with a disability as well.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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