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New cycling lane aims to reduce car commutes into Brussels

© Vlaams-Brabant province

A new cycling lane to connect Brussels to the sprawling fields of the Flemish Brabant is in the making, regional officials announced on Thursday.

Flemish mobility officials said that the new lane, named Volle Gaas, will provide commuters in the western Flemish outskirts of Brussels with a “smooth” and quick commute to the capital.

The new bike link is the latest move by mobility officials in both Flanders and the Brussels-Capital Region to boost the inter-regional cycling network and simultaneously cut back on commutes done by car, by making up for the meagre public transport offer on that route.

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“Due to the limited supply of public transport in our region, many journeys still take place by car. This cycle route (…) will give our commuters new possibilities,” Simon De Boeck, mobility councillor in the small municipality of Gooik, said in a press release.

The 28-kilometre route will originate on the left-bank of the Brussels-Charleroi canal, between the municipalities of Anderlecht and Uccle, and end in the municipality of Galmaarden, in heart of the picturesque farming Pajottenland region.

© Vlaams-Brabant province

“Our ambition is to work with Pajottenland municipalities to create a central cycling backbone —the VolleGaas bicycle route— that easily connects residential areas in the Pajottenland with Brussels,” De Boeck said.

The bike lane will follow the route of a former tram line in Gooik and run along a combination of low-traffic roads, field roads and cycling lanes.

The route will serve not only as a commuting route towards the capital but also offer something to recreational cyclists and tourists, as it will feature views of the “beautiful panoramas” of the Pajottenland as well as run past the imposing Gaasbeek Castle and museum, dubbed the “most romantic museum in Flanders.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times