Drivers’ interests group calls for better coordination of Low Emission Zones
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    Drivers’ interests group calls for better coordination of Low Emission Zones

    In Brussels, people only get an exemption if they have had their vehicle modified because of their disability. Credit: ©Belga/Thierry Roge

    A new platform promoting drivers interests has raised concerns over the increased number of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in Belgium, asking for greater standardisation of the areas.

    Freesponsible, a new lobby platform promoting motorists’ interests,  is calling for standardised regulations and for car parks to be made available on the outskirts of towns with free park-and-ride services.

    Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Mechelen and Willebroek have already introduced or plan to introduce such low emission zones. In Wallonia, Namur and Eupen will serve as test-sites before LEZs are extended to cover the whole Region in 2030.

    “Freesponsible reiterates once again that the uncoordinated and haphazard introduction of low-emission zones does not get results but victimises for real,” the association emphasised.

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    Freesponsible is inviting all the authorities concerned to reach a consensus on regulatory standardisation so that authorised cars in the various zones have the same leeway and that car drivers are not taken by surprise by regulations of which they are unaware.

    “Freesponsible also takes the view that the different authorities ought to plan for exemptions for residents of the towns in question, while also planning exemptions for older and custom vehicles. Furthermore, we also call for corrective measures to be taken in order to help drivers – unable to drive their cars in their own towns – by means of subsidies to seek alternatives. Amsterdam town council is already doing this for those having to sell their vehicles, following the establishment of the low emission zone there,” the platform stated.

    The Brussels Times