The Brussels Government is currently discussing a proposal to raise parking fees and resident parking pass prices in an effort to decrease the number of cars in the city.
“One of the levers to ensure that more people park in car parks is to ensure that the prices in interchange car parks and car parks go down, and those on the street go up,” a spokesperson for Minister of Mobility Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) told Bruzz.
The rise in prices for street parking permits is part of the region’s Good Move plan, aimed at moving towards a more pedestrian-friendly Brussels with less air pollution and vehicle traffic – two issues that have long plagued the city.
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The goal is to have 65,000 fewer on-street parking spaces by 2030, and the parking proposal also calls for raising the fines for parking in a permit-required zone without one from €25 to €40. The parking rate in green zones would also be significantly increased.
Brussels comparatively cheap for parking
One explanation for the heavy presence of cars in Brussels is likely the low cost of parking: even in the most expensive districts this is only €2, thanks to significant pressure from car-owning residents.
A study by a consultancy firm highlights how much lower this is than comparable cities: the first hour of parking costs around €4 in Paris, €4.70 in Copenhagen and €7.50 in Amsterdam.
Resident cards in Brussels are also often cheap, which encourages residents to park their cars on the street. The government has already indicated that it wants to harmonise those prices across municipalities and limit the number of permits to two per household.
What could change
The proposal now on the table would raise these current prices significantly: €60 for a first resident's card and €120 for a second one. People with a second residence in the region would have to pay €500 for theirs.
The government has yet to reach an agreement on the exact rates. According to the newspaper L'Echo, the French-speaking Socialists are opposed to raising the prices of resident permits. They consider the timing to be unfortunate “because of the ongoing corona crisis and its socio-economic impact.”