Pedestrians and cyclists are set to benefit from a new ministerial decree signed by the Walloon Minister for Local Government, Valérie De Bue, and her ministerial counterpart responsible for Mobility, Carlo Di Antonio. The document aims for their inclusion during construction work, landscaping projects or repairs, in the event of any road maintenance in Wallonia.
From now on, where any road repairs take place they must, unless there are justifiable reasons not to, include cycle paths or cycle schemes.
In practical terms, the decree provides uniform methods of work and procedures for identical inclusion in all regional divisions of the SPW Mobilité et Infrastructures (Wallonia Public Service for Mobility and Infrastructure).
The decree also goes further by guaranteeing the implementation of a maintenance policy for areas specifically set aside for means of transport or walking. Specifically, there is provision for cycle paths to be cleaned at least four times a year.
Such maintenance is necessary if we wish to encourage the use of bicycles at all times, said Di Antonio. “With effect from this year, the SPW maintenance budget has increased by €15 million, with specific focus upon cycle paths,” he said.
Lastly the text asks communes to take into account soft modes of transport when developing public spaces.
The mobility of cyclists, pedestrians, and especially persons of reduced mobility, seniors and children must be taken into account from the project analysis and design stages, and out of necessity when projects come to fruition, said Valérie De Bue. “It is vital to guarantee all such users greater levels of comfort as they move around,” she further said.