Uber demonstration closes off Brussels tunnels

Uber demonstration closes off Brussels tunnels
Credit: Belga

A demonstration by drivers linked to the Uber app is disrupting traffic and resulted in the closure of multiple tunnels on Thursday morning in Brussels.

Mobiris, the road traffic information service of the Brussels Mobility organisation, warned that major traffic problems were being reported on the roads leading into the capital, notably the E40-A3 between Evere and Reyers, but also on the inner ring road, the Avenue de Tervuren and the Rue de la Loi, affecting several tunnels.

The E40 from Leuven towards Brussels, the outer ring road between Anderlecht-Nord and Neerpede, the A3 towards Brussels near the Reyers complex and several tunnels in the capital were also experiencing delays.

The tweet reads: "Update, the Rogier and Botanique tunnels are reopened to traffic in both directions (Basilique/Midi). The Tervuren, Cinquantenaire and Loi tunnels towards the centre are still closed."

Uber drivers already took to the inner ring road in Brussels on Wednesday evening around 10:40 PM causing traffic disruption, particularly at Porte de Namur and Arts-Loi.

At a snail's pace

The drivers are either standing still or driving very slowly, in protest against a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal that stated drivers can no longer work with the Uber app based on an earlier order against Uber from 2015.

This decision forces drivers to cease their activities as of Friday 26 November at 6:00 PM, which will result in about 2,000 Brussels drivers linked to Uber risk losing their source of income.

In response, drivers are calling on the Brussels government to introduce new legislation.

"We will block Brussels every day and drive at a snail's pace until we get an answer from the cabinet of Rudi Vervoort (minister-president of the Brussels-Capital Region)," Fernando Redondo, president of the Belgian Limousine Drivers Association (ABCL), told Belga news agency.

"We have been waiting for seven years for this Taxi plan, which has been frozen with Rudi Vevoort's cabinet. Following the decision in the first instance, we were fined 160 euros. Uber drivers demonstrated in Brussels and we were promised a Taxi plan for the summer. It's the end of November and we still have nothing," he said.

Uber is looking into the possibility to appeal the case, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

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