The municipal council of Etterbeek in Brussels has rejected a proposal to change the name of Etterbeek railway station, which lies mainly on the territory of the municipality of Ixelles. Ixelles had proposed to the rail authority SNCB to change the name of the station to Ixelles Universités, given that the station lies on the commune’s territory, and adjoins the campuses of the Free Universities ULB and VUB.
Etterbeek council member Jean-Luc Robert had responded to a demand by Ixelles council to change the name. He argued that a change of name would be confusing to passengers, would lead to needless costs on the part of rail infrastructure company Infrabel, and would remove the name from part of the commune’s heritage. Any change would also require changes to the map of the Brussels public transport network, as tram and bus stops would also have to be renamed.
In the vote, five members of Ecolo abstained in solidarity with their Ixelles colleagues. Two members of Défi also abstained. Federal mobility minister François Bellot, as well as the SNCB itself, had already expressed opposition to changing the name of the station.