Air quality in Brussels was a third better during Car-Free Day

According to figures from the Inter-Regional Environment Cell (Ircel), air quality in the Brussels-Capital Region was better by a third during Sunday’s Car-Free Day. The Car-Free Day marked the start of Mobility Week. During Mobility week people are asked to think about their transport choices.    

Just one day without cars and their exhaust fumes made a real difference to air quality in the capital. Along the normally traffic-choked Wetstraat air quality in the afternoon of the car-free day was 30% cleaner than on a normal Sunday.  

However, Ircel’s Frans Fierens told VRT News that "At the end of the Car-Free soot levels strongly rose again. The impact of the Car-Free Day is limited to the hours that cars are banned from the city”.

The Brussels Transport Minister Pascal Smet (Flemish socialist) told journalists that he hopes that the Brussels Regional Parliament can reach agreement soon on the introduction of a second Care-Free in 2019.

"People in Brussels asked again and again for a day like today. Let’s start doing something to bring it about. Mobility week has only just started. Over the next few days the focus will be on school streets. By closing them to motor vehicles they become safer, the number of cyclists will increase and we would significantly improve air quality”.