Brussels' plans for highway toll could cost drivers over €2,000 each year

Brussels' plans for highway toll could cost drivers over €2,000 each year
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Plans to install a highway toll to enter the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region could cost drivers more than €2,000 a year, a Walloon senator warned.

André Antoine, former regional minister in Wallonia and senator, slammed the plans by the Brussels government as a "racket," saying it would weight down on the budgets of drivers who enter the Belgian capital daily.

Antoine cited the results of a study commissioned by the regional government of Brussels, noting that one of the scenarios in consideration could face drivers with the hefty yearly fee.

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"What we can observe, is that this toll could cost over €2,500 per year to a commuter," he said. "This will not do, especially so long as there no credible and sufficient alternatives to the car to come into Brussels."

Antoine said the study, led by mobility consulting firm Stratec, showed plans for the toll would rake in considerable sums for Brussels.

"In a strict screening scenario (...) with a fee of €3 between 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM, annual income is estimated at €323.7 million," he said, Belgian media reports.

"In a similarly strict scenario, but with a fee of €12, the estimated income could reach €1.12 billion," he added.

His party, the conservative centrist CdH, will push the head of the Walloon government to oppose the plans, which he said cannot be imposed as long as "credible infrastructure, such as regional trains, are not in place."

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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