An association of retailers whose businesses run the length of the A12 between Brussels and Antwerp has taken legal counsel against a decision by the Flemish government regarding traffic lights.
The association, HIW, opposes a change to the lights between Wilrijk and Aartselaar, imposed earlier this year, with the intention of making traffic easier on that section of the A12, an alternative to the E19 motorway between the two main cities.
According to the lawyer for the association, the change has led to traffic taking an alternative routes. “Because of that, side streets and surrounding town centres have become less safe,” Loc Groven said.
Businesses also complain they are losing not only customers but also potential employees, as a result of the traffic situation. HIW has now gathered the support of some 150 local businesses affected. The association suggests undoing the latest changes, and the creation of emergency crossings where necessary, an idea used on the restructuring of the Antwerp ring-road.
The Flemish agency for roads and traffic AWV said it was “surprised” by the complaints. “We have been busy for a long time in consultation with local authorities and local businesses,” spokesperson Jef Schoenmaekers said. “The fact that businesses no decide to undertake this action is a pity, and is not the way to arrive at a solution.”