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Cyclists rule in city of Mechelen as the country's biggest cycle zone is opened

Today, the city of Mechelen installed its long-awaited cycle zone in the inner city. Cars are still allowed, but they can't go faster than 30 kilometres per hour (18 miles) and they can't overtake cyclists.

Mechelen Mayor Alexander Vandersmissen (Flemish liberal) explains that the new area includes 179 connected streets, covering a total distance of 30 kilometres in the inner city. "Cyclists will set the pace here. Motorists are still welcome, but should stay behind the cyclists and can't overtake them." 

Motorists are not against the idea. One lady said "my daughter cycles here often and I think this will make it safer for her." In a first phase, motorists flouting the rules will not get a fine yet, but an information brochure. The road is painted completely red where people enter the cycle zone.