The maximum speed limit on the Brussels ring road will be slashed to 100 kilometres per hour from next year as part of the region's new climate plan.
The new speed limit is expected to come into force from 2020, and will put the speed limit on the Brussels ring road —which is mostly located in the regional territory of Flanders — on par with that of the Antwerp ring road.
The measure was unveiled as part of Environment Minister Zuhal Demir's Climate and Energy Plan on Monday, after its approval was halted on Friday, with the government saying that last-minute tweaks were needed "to avoid criticism."
Flanders' minister for Brussels, Benjamin Dalle, said the new regulations were "an important breakthrough" in the region's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve road security, according to Bruzz.
"The measure will not only reduce CO2 emissions but also increase road safety," Dalle said, referring to noise pollution brought on by traffic on the busy ring road.
The decision to slash the speed limit in the motorway will also improve the quality of life of residents living nearby, as a result of vehicles driving at lower speeds, noise pollution and fine dust would be reduced, according to Dalle.
The Flemish government's decision to cut down on motorists' speed comes as they attempt to stay on track to deliver greenhouse gas emissions reductions, which, in the revised plan on Monday, were scaled back from an announced 35% by 2030 to 32.6%, De Morgen reports.
Dalle said the measure will bring down CO2 emissions by 0.13 megatons and that the move "could be assumed" to result in a reduction of harmful air pollutants, known as particulate matter, by 30%.
Demir took to Twitter to announce the approval of the plan just ahead of her flight to the COP25 in Madrid, saying the Flemish climate strategy was "ambitious, achievable and affordable."
Brussels' minister for mobility, Elke Van den Brandt, also took to Twitter to laud the measure, saying that a speed limit of 100 km/h was "good for the traffic and for smoother and safer traffic."
The Brussels Times