Federal minister Bellot against STIB competing on the railways
Share article:
Share article:

Federal minister Bellot against STIB competing on the railways

© Flickr
Tram 82 to Drogenbos
© Flickr

Federal mobility minister François Bellot has spoken out against a proposal by the chief executive of the Brussels public transport authority STIB/MIVB to have Brussels trams operate on the rail network within the region. CEO Brieuc de Meeûs floated the idea last week in De Tijd newspaper while responding to an idea from the Green coalition in Brussels for the STIB to provide free public transport in the evening and at weekends. “When the European rail market is opened up in 2023, there will be routes on offer in the Brussels region,” he said. “Why should the STIB not offer services on the railways. Our goal is to transport people, in whatever manner is appropriate.”

But the rail authority SNCB/NMBS, Bellot pointed out, already offers rail transport within Brussels, with around 30 stations on the S network, which covers stations from Berchem-Ste-Agathe to Boitsfort, and from St-Job in Uccle to Haren on the border of the region. Meanwhile on social media, many public transport users pointed out that the STIB has trouble maintaining its services by tram, bus and metro, without venturing onto the railways.

Bellot likened the Brussels network to a roundabout on a busy road. Not only do trains carry passengers from the provinces to the capital and back again, Brussels also serves as a link between cities as far apart as Ostend and Eupen or Ghent and Liege.

“Sending out trams over the Brussels railways would be like cars that drive eternally round a roundabout without ever coming off,” Bellot said. “It would amount effectively to splitting the network into three parts: one for Brussels, one Flemish and one Walloon. Is that really what people want, when you consider the loss of operational efficiency that would follow from splitting the SNCB into three branches?”

The rail authority itself declined to comment. “It is up to the four mobility minister to come to a common standpoint,” a spokesperson for the SNCB said.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The European Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...