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Brussels City taken to court over park car ban

© BELGA/PAUL-HENRI VERLOOY

The municipality of Uccle is taking the City of Brussels to court over a decision by the latter to ban car traffic from most roads around one of the biggest parks in the Belgian capital.

The cabinet of Uccle Mayor Boris Dilliès confirmed to The Brussels Times that they would move forward with an appeal against the decision turn the Bois de la Cambre into a mostly car-free zone.

Uccle’s move comes after the City of Brussels closed down most roads around the park to motorised traffic as a pilot test with a view of making the area car-free in the long term.

While the park technically belongs to the territory of the City of Brussels or Brussels 1000, most of it cuts into the territory of Uccle, a wealthy municipality in the south of the capital region.

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The move by Brussels at the start of the week means that the only road that remains accessible to two-way traffic is Avenue Diane, which runs along the northwest part of the park, while the remaining streets that loop around it are inaccessible.

In a statement released on Thursday, the mayor’s cabinet said the appeal would seek to push Brussels to backtrack on the car ban and to bind any similar decisions in the future to an impact study.

The decision to challenge the car ban, which was passed despite opposition from green party cabinet members, stemmed from a will to “unclog Uccle and to preserve the quality of life of its inhabitants.”

Uccle also said that the move by Brussels was not in line with wider mobility projects spearheaded by the Brussels Region, and said changes to mobility in the area would have to fit in with the regional government’s Good Move plan.

“Ahead of an expert’s conclusions, the municipal council asks that, at the very least, the southern roads between Avenue du Brésile and Chaussée de La Hulpe are reopened,” the cabinet wrote in a press release.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times