Jams into Brussels. No trains from Antwerp.

Road traffic was heavily affected as a result of Monday's first provincial strike day. Belgium's three main unions are protesting against the government's austerity programme with action centred on the provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, Luxembourg and Hainault, but on the roads it was commuters making their way to Brussels that were most badly affected.

Train traffic is disrupted across the country as are local transport services, buses and trams, in affected provinces. There were long jams into Brussels this morning, while in and around Antwerp it was relatively calm on the roads.

Many motorists left earlier than usual. By 8:30 drivers heading for the Belgian and Flemish capital had to add one hour to a normal journey time.

A lorry on the Antwerp ring caused havoc for drivers heading for Ghent. The lorry's load caught fire and three carriage ways had to be closed.

In Antwerp the rush hour was less busy than usual, probably because the port of Antwerp is at a standstill through the strike.

In Limburg Province strikers are handing out leaflets at intersections hampering the flow of the traffic.

On the railways there are no services departing from Antwerp and Limburg provinces. Brussels is cut off from Antwerp by rail with hardly any services on Antwerp-Mechelen-Brussels; Antwerp-Hasselt and Hasselt-Leuven are affected too.

Rail services in Hainault Province are also at standstill. Trains that are running elsewhere are making extra stops. Most services to Brussels Airport are operating.

Services are running on the East-West route from Leuven to Ghent and Bruges, though rail services across Wallonia are affected by the strike. Some services between Eupen-Liège and Ostend were cancelled. Thalys services to Amsterdam are experiencing problems.