BELGA/LALMAND

Traffic jams for ever: holiday season no longer provides a break like in the past

We are almost one week into the summer holidays now, but the daily traffic jams are not diminishing. This morning, we had over 100 kilometres of tailbacks on a sunny day, especially around Brussels and Antwerp. The VRT's traffic expert Hajo Beeckman sees different reasons for the never-ending traffic woes.  

The first explanation is simple, says Beeckman: traffic flows have been growing constantly over the past years. "About 15 years ago, it was possible to take your car and go to Antwerp and Brussels without a worry during the holidays. However, since then, traffic has increased by 1 percent or more each year. Now, we have reached the limit, literally. The consequence is that the orbital roads of our cities are being confronted with congestion in July as well."

Second, the traffic outside commuting has also been growing constantly, says Beeckman. "We are seeing this type of traffic a lot more between the morning and evening rush hour, which means that this period is also becoming busier." Third, motorists are facing a big number of road works these days: "We have a backlog which needs to be reduced, and many of these road works are taking place in summer to reduce the impact."