HGVs to be banned from Aalst city centre before and after school

From 1 June heavy goods vehicles will be banned from the centre of the East Flemish city of Aalst in the mornings before the start of and the afternoons after the end of the school day. The daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reports that the measure is being taken to prevent a repeat of a tragedy late last year in which an 11-year-old boy was run over and killed by a lorry while he was on his way to school. The lorry ban will be voted on at a meeting of Aalst City Council later this month.  

After the accident in December last year in which 11 year-old Celio lost his life, the city authorities in Aalst announced that measures would be taken to ban lorries in the before the start of and after the end of the school day. Originally the local authority had planned to bring the measure this month. However, this couldn’t be done in time. The Mayor of Aalst Christophe D’haese (nationalist) told journalists “We still needed to discuss things with amongst other people the distribution companies to finalise the details and reach workable solutions. The ban is on the agenda of the forthcoming council meeting on 18 February”.

The ban will be applicable to all goods vehicles above 3.5 tonnes within the Aalst Inner Ring Road. Signs advising motorists that the ban is in force will be put in place. The ban will be applicable on weekdays between 7:30am and 8:30am and between 3:30pm and 4:45pm. On Wednesdays, a day on which there is no school in the afternoon, the ban will be in force between 11:30am and 13:30pm.

Exceptions can only be made under special circumstances and any exemptions must be requested in advance on a case by case basis.