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Two thirds of Brussels inhabitants want fewer cars

Credit: Belga

Two thirds of Brussels inhabitants want more room for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport in the fight against pollution, according to a new YouGov survey.

Over three quarters (77%) of Brussels citizens found that air quality has improved during the lockdown, which saw a ban on unnecessary travel, and they don’t want pollution to return to pre-crisis levels.

Some 74% of Brussels citizens would support a ban on polluting cars in order to improve air quality.

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“Traffic is the most important source of pollution by nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Brussels and even the cleanest cars with combustion motors still pollute too much,” said Greenpeace mobility expert Joeri Thijs.

“It is urgently necessary to clear them out of the city step by step, taking into account the situation of certain vulnerable groups,” he said. “It is also important to reinforce alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport.”

“The car in the city is something from the past. Brussels citizens are tired of the pollution, noise, traffic jams and accidents,” said Pierre Dornier of the citizen collective Les Chercheurs d’Air. “It is the duty of people’s representatives to listen to them and give more space to active and shared mobility.”

The City of Brussels has already rolled out 40 kilometres of extra cycling paths, and has poured half a million euros into new cycling infrastructure as officials are boosting cycling amid deconfinement.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times