Pascal Smet says, “Transport is not an end in and of itself.”
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    Pascal Smet says, “Transport is not an end in and of itself.”

    © Belga
    Smet believes that car-sharing for three or more people travelling into Brussels can be developed along with the kilometre tax.
    © Belga

    The Brussels Minister for Transport, Pascal Smet (Alternative Socialist Party), reiterated, in an interview for La Libre Belgique published today (Friday), the idea of a motorway lane reserved for cars carrying several people. Such lanes would be located in regions outside of Brussels but headed for the city. This is a project which he would like to develop in parallel with the kilometre tax.

    He confirmed, “We will make proposals along these lines.”

    He was asked, “So if Flanders and Wallonia were to reserve a motorway lane for cars carrying at least three passengers what is the advantage?” The Minister put forward the idea that such a car might enter “Brussels for free” whilst “drivers travelling alone or in twos would have to pay.”

    Smet states that such a project would be “separate” from the kilometre tax, which has not been abandoned but upon which “we are quietly working away.” He considers that “If, at the same time, the federal government offers a deduction for those sharing their car, Belgians’ habits will change in the space of three months.”

    Regarding the capital and its bottlenecks, the Flemish Socialist says, “There are too many cars on the roads, too many commuters which the city does not have the capacity to absorb.” Yet, he considers, “Transport should not be viewed as an end in and of itself – it is simply means to improve both quality of life and air quality.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times