STIB, Etterbeek move to reduce nuisance from work on metro

STIB, Etterbeek move to reduce nuisance from work on metro
Brussels' metro saw the highest increase in passengers. Credit: Belga

After a profound dispute last year over the nuisance caused by maintenance work on the metro network, Etterbeek and the STIB transport utility have reached an agreement that was approved on Monday evening by Etterbeek’s municipal council.

Metro maintenance work near the Hankar metro station that had been planned for the weekend of 11-13 November last year had been suspended by order of the Etterbeek municipality.

The reason given by Mayor Vincent De Wolf (MR) for refusing a derogation from urban planning rules on construction schedules was the nuisance suffered by local residents during a previous episode when hundreds of tonnes of balast were being unloaded.

The operation had been carried out, without precautions, by a subcontractor on the so-called 'Exobois' site, a rare access to the underground railway network for transporting materials.

Despite appeals, namely to the Council of State, the municipality and the urban transport company had sat down to seek a solution that took into account the interests of all parties.

The work, carried out over the Easter weekend, did not cause any nuisance, according to a local environmentalist councillor and the partial results of an acoustic study carried out on site.

The agreement validated on Monday evening by the municipality favours the contractual route and no longer seeks a derogation from town planning rules.

In particular, it commits STIB to do everything possible to ensure that work carried out on railway, metro or tram tracks does not affect the peace and quiet of local residents.

It also requires STIB to notify the municipality when it plans to carry out such work, the nature of the work, the timetable for carrying it out, and the measures it intends to take to limit the nuisance caused.

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