Expect some traffic disruption in Brussels today as motorists protest

Expect some traffic disruption in Brussels today as motorists protest
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Police are warning of likely disruption in traffic this morning on the inner ring road in Brussels, because of a demonstration against the Brussels regional government’s mobility plans.

The demonstration consisting of taxi drivers, motorists and motorcyclists is due to gather at the North station and depart at around 09.30. It will then climb the ring road towards Botanique and Madou, proceeding to Boulevard du Régent, where the office of Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort is situated.

The main part of the protest is the complaint of the official taxi sector against the region’s plans, for which they are seeking official talks.

They are being joined today, however, by assorted motorists and motorcyclists, who complain that the region’s Good Move plan, that includes the introduction of a widespread Zone 30, is no more than an attempt to stop people using their cars and motorcycles in the city.

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Another demonstration took place last Thursday, on that occasion involving drivers for ride-sharing services Heetch and Uber. They had received a letter from Brussels Mobility, the region’s mobility agency, recalling that a law from 1995 – when such things were hardly heard of and certainly not in common use – outlawed the use of mobile phones as a means of ordering a cab.

The law happens at the moment to be before the Constitutional Court, but in the meantime, the sector said it could mean 2,500 drivers out of work. The ride-share services work mainly or entirely with mobile phone orders.

The order led Pascal Smet, himself a minister in the regional government, to describe the ban on smart technology as “too crazy to be allowed out” on Twitter.

Police today warned of possible disruption to traffic, and advised road-users to check the situation on police social media, including Twitter.

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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