Aalst bans HGVs from city centre around school opening and closing times

In the wake of last week’s tragic accident in which and 11-year-boy was knocked down and killed by a lorry while walking to school with his sister and his mother, the city authorities in Aalst (East Flanders) have decided to ban lorries from city centre. Soon lorries will not be allowed to enter the area of Aalst within the city’s inner ring road at times of the day when children on the their way to or returning from school. The new rules should be in force by 1 February 2020.  

The city authorities are currently working on a traffic for Aalst, the alderman responsible for transport Jean-Jacques De Gucht (liberal) told VRT Radio 2 East Flanders. The new rules will see vehicles of 3.5 tonnes or more being banned from the area within the Inner Ring road between 7:30am and 8:30am and between 3:30pm and 16:45pm.

On Wednesday’s when there is no school in the afternoon, the ban will be in force from 12 noon until 1pm rather than between 3:30pm and 4:45pm.  Currently lorries can deliver and pick up loads 24/7 in the whole of Aalst with the exception of the pedestrianised zone in the city’s shopping area. The new rules are subject to approval by the municipal council.

The city authorities intend to pass on the information about the lorry to the apps most frequently used by truckers’ satellite navigation systems. Furthermore, appropriate road signs will be place both around the area in which the ban will be in force and on arterial routes into the city.    

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