Extended pedestrian area in Brussels from 29 June

The city of Brussels has supplied more details on its mobility projects for the coming summer. Plans to extend the pedestrian area to 123 acres (coming from 86) will be implemented earlier than planned, on 29 June. Local bus routes will also change, with a brand new bus line being introduced to cover the area around the pedestrian zone.

The first phase is being heralded as a test phase. Originally starting on 18 July, it will now kick off on 29 June, coinciding with the first day of the school summer holidays. The test phase will run for 8 months. The extended pedestrian area in the historic heart of Brussels, the busy tourist area in the so-called pentagon, will cover 50 hectares or 123 acres.

The streets where cars will be banned include the Anspach Avenue and large parts of the Steenstraat and Zuidstraat. Exceptions will be made for people that have a private garage in the area, pensioners, handicapped people and for deliveries, but these only between 6 and 11am.

Bus 86

The new plan also means that bus routes will be changed. A brand new bus service, line 86, will cover a circular route that makes a kind of circle around the pedestrian area, connecting the central, lower city parts to upper parts. Local traffic will have to comply with new rules, especially in the area just around the pedestrian zones. There will often be just one lane for cars, except at traffic lights. 

Motoring organisation Touring and the N-VA Flemish nationalist opposition fear a complete traffic chaos when the plans will be implemented.