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Belgian national protests: what’s running in rush hour?

According to the FGTB/ABVV trade union, roughly 20,000 people participated in the demonstration. Credit: Belga

Roughly 10,000 people walked in the demonstration for stronger national security from Brussels-North to Brussels-Midi station on Tuesday 28 January, according to the official count of the Brussels police.

“The demonstration ended around 2:15 PM, without any issues. It even ended earlier than we had thought, as the end was foreseen around 3:30 PM,” a spokesperson for the Brussels Capital-Ixelles police zone told The Brussels Times.

“All roads have been opened again, so everything should be back to normal now,” she said, adding that most of the public transport services should also be running like normal, for the most part.

Credit: Belga

De Lijn had previously communicated over Twitter that there had been no official strike notice, but that disruptions were possible, according to ACOD.

95% of all drivers are working, and after the end of the demonstration, there should be no more disruptions, according to the transport company.

Translation of Tweet: “The national action day of the trade union causes slight inconvenience to our buses and trams. If you want to check whether your bus or tram is running, you can consult the real-time information on our website and in the app.”

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The metro network should not experience too many disruptions, as metro lines 1, 2, 5 and 6 are all running, but travellers may need to take a longer waiting time into account until the end of Tuesday.

“Even though the demonstration has ended, the network will remain disrupted until the end of the service today,” Guy Sablon, a STIB spokesperson, told the Brussels Times. “The people who have participated in the demonstration, are absent for the whole day,” he added.

Translation of Tweet: “The situation will remain stable for the whole afternoon. Lines operating at 4:00 PM:”

The rest of the STIB network will remain disrupted until the end of the service. Only the tram lines 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 19, 25, 51, 55, 82, 92 and 97 are operated. For buses, lines 12, 20, 29, 34, 36, 46, 47, 49, 53, 57, 60, 63, 65, 66, 71, 78, 87, 89 and 95 are the only ones running.

The only open Bootik/Kiosk sales points in the stations will be in Gare du Midi/Zuidstation and Rogier. The one in Rogier, however, has closed at 3:00 PM for the occasion, instead of its usual closing time at 6:00 PM.

The national railway company SNCB/NMBS communicated that it forecast little to no impact on train traffic.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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