Brussels region appeals ruling to lift Bois de la Cambre car ban
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Brussels region appeals ruling to lift Bois de la Cambre car ban

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The Brussels-Capital Region will fight a ruling ordering the lift of a car ban in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre, siding with the City of Brussels in the feud over traffic circulation in the capital’s largest park.

A spokesperson for Regional Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt said confirmed that an appeal had been lodged against the ruling of a Brussels court to reopen the roads in the park to vehicle traffic.

With the appeal, the region backs a move by municipal authorities in the City of Brussels/Brussels 1000 to drastically reduce traffic circulation in the metropolitan park during and after the lockdown.

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The City of Brussels in August said the move was a test aiming to analyse the impact of shutting motorists out of the park, which is cut through by several winding and high-capacity motorways typically charged with commuters driving in and out of the capital.

The plans, which blocked circulation on all roads except on Avenue Diane —to ensure the link with the wider national motorway and with the Brussels ring—, sparked a backlash from motorists and by the municipality of Uccle who challenged it and was handed a legal win last week.

Van den Brandt’s spokesperson said the mobility cabinet was “shocked” by the ruling, which gave the City of Brussel 30 days to lift the ban or risk a hefty daily fine.

The spokesperson told Bruzz that they would comply with the ruling but defended the car ban, saying it was in line with wider a wider regional plan to cut back on traffic congestion and pollution.

The spokesperson hinted that the mobility cabinet had no intention of backing down on the aim to drain vehicle traffic out of the park, which on Tuesday was taken over by opponents and proponents of the car ban.

“We are striving to find a compromise with Uccle to get the municipality and its residents onboard,” they said. “This ruling is a small bump on the road, but the dynamics towards a car-free Bois de la Cambre have started. The people of Brussels simply need more green space.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times