On Friday, the Catering Federation and the Neutral Union for Independents (SNI) said they are very worried about the policies being implicated by the Brussels Mobility Minister Pascal Smet. “The organisation and coordination of mobility in Brussels are based on political decisions by public authorities. However, we consider making decisions without thinking about the economy and putting no alternative solutions in place to be heresy and totally irresponsible”, they said in a joint press release.
The policies in question are the cycle lane project and the plan to get rid of 400 parking spaces between Porte de Hal and Place Madou. “We are used to quick-fix policies close to election time, but going ahead without real coordination and the necessary means is intense”, the two organisations say. They say “everywhere else that has instigated similar policies have also put alternative solutions in place before completely transforming the urban landscape”.
The catering sector has been hit hard by the Brussels attacks, the pavement roadworks and the Tunnels closing. It has said “it can’t afford to lose a single customer,”. The Catering federation and the SNI think the Mobility Minister has “an ideological and purely political vision” for Brussels’ future, without offering a “projective economic vision”.
“Urban areas do need to be developed, but not at the cost of the economy and the people who live there”. The organisations say the urgency is on facilitating access to information, through digitalisation among other things. “The catering sector needs to put sign in stations, airports, and metro stations so tourists can find them easily and have the information in their own language”. It added that Brussels has “nowhere near Paris’ 30 million tourists”.