Brussels moves to minimize effects of works on the public, businesses
Share article:
Share article:

Brussels moves to minimize effects of works on the public, businesses

© Belga
© Belga

The Brussels Regional Parliament will start examining in commission on Monday a bill aimed at better managing the effects of public works in the capital area. Measures proposed in the bill include: compensating businesses affected by public works lasting one month or more; anticipating on the impact of such works on neighbourhoods; planning, together with all stakeholders, for foreseeable public works to be executed over a five-year period; and extending working hours. In this way, the region’s authorities hope to enter a new phase in managing the effects of some 120,000 projects a year in public places.

The draft ordinance was introduced on Friday by the ministers of Public Works and Economic Affairs, Pascal Smet and Didier Gosuin respectively, supported by the President of the Union of Middle Classes.

The text revisits legislation passed 20 years ago at the initiative of the then secretary of state Eric Andre, now late, and reviewed 10 years ago by Pascal Smet.

Smet said on Friday that since the beginning of the present legislature, public works deadlines have been respected, but the Brussels Government wants to make an extra effort to reduce the duration of such works by extending working hours. This is already incorporated into the programmes of the most recent projects, but the Region wishes to give it the force of law.

The authorities also plan to include a business representative in the region’s coordinating commission on public works, comprising representatives of municipalities, police precincts, the regional transport utility STIB, Brussels Mobility (the regional transport department) and the fire service, SIAMU.

This commission meets each week to review upcoming works, study any deviations and validate them.

One of the key aspects of the future ordinance is a new system for compensating businesses for the effects of works lasting 29 days or more. The existing system inherited from the Federal Government, provides € 73.30 per day of closure for interruptions lasting at least one week. Few businesses make use of it.

Special provision is now being made for small businesses (less than 10 full-time equivalents), considered more vulnerable because of their size. Should access to such businesses be hampered by work on a project of long duration, they will receive between € 2,000 and € 2,700 a day in compensation, depending on their size, once the works interrupt traffic for 29 days or more.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Aggression against railway staff more than doubled since 2020
In the first three quarters of 2021, the number of reports of aggression against national railway company SNCB's staff has more than doubled compared ...
Intervention hotline 1722 activated following bad weather warnings
Following bad weather warnings from Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI), the Federal Public Service (FPS) Home Affairs has ...
Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...