Rain, accidents and road works cause chaos on Belgian roads

Traffic congestion reached a peak on Monday morning due to a combination of wet weather, road works and a couple of road accidents. Morning rush hour saw 417 kilometres of traffic jams at one stage, the second worse figure this year. Commuters taking the train were winners this morning.

Belgium has a long tradition of traffic congestion. Even regular rush hours are seeing quite a bit of jams, mainly around Brussels and Antwerp. Any incident is enough to spark major problems.

This morning, the rainy weather caused longer jams than normal. There were also road works on the E40 Motorway between Ghent and Brussels (where the road is being resurfaced in both directions with one lane being closed between Zwijnaarde and Erpe-Mere).

Last but not least there were two accidents on the E313 Motorway linking Limburg province to the city of Antwerp (photos below). One lorry caught fire after a puncture, which caused a tailback. An accident produced in this traffic jam when another lorry could not bring his vehicle to a standstill in time. The driver died.

"Thank you NMBS!"

The total of 417 kilometres of jams put this morning's rush hour second on this year's black list, only preceded by Monday 23 February when snowy conditions caused 447 kilometres of congestion. Saturday 24 January had 716 kilometres of tailbacks due to the winter weather, but these were not in a traditional morning rush hour.

Commuters taking the train were winners this morning. "Over 400 kilometres of jams but my train is right on time! Thank you #NMBS" tweeted the VRT journalist Lieven Verstraete.