COVID-19: Keeping Things Moving

Brussels announces 20km/h limits and expanded bike network

Brussels has announced a suite of measures to give more space to pedestrians and cyclists in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Belgian capital last week announced that lower vehicle speed limits would be coming into place in a large area of the city centre. From early May, the 'Pentagon' (i.e. the area located inside the inner ring road) will become a 20km/h zone. Pedestrians and cyclists will have more priority on roads to make it easier to travel on foot or by bike throughout the city. Vehicle traffic is still permitted, but a maximum speed of 20km/h. The same rule applies to trams and buses.

With more people walking and cycling during the COVID-19 outbreak, space for active travel has been increasingly limited in many cities. This approach from Brussels aims to allow more space for walking and cycling in the city centre to allow people to move around safely and conveniently during this challenging time.

This comes after plans were recently agreed to make 30km/h the default speed limit in the Brussels Capital region. 30km/h will be the new standard speed limit, with a number of exceptions on key roads which will remain 50km/h or 70km/h. This city-wide reduction in speed limits will help to create more livable environments across the city, with reduced noise pollution and a friendlier environment for walking and cycling being just two of the benefits. Read more here.

Now this week plans have been announced for an additional 40km of cycle lanes to connect existing infrastructure across the city. The move comes to allow a wider range of people to use bikes as a means of commuting and travelling into the city centre. This comes in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, during which more people have been relying on walking and cycling to get around. It is hoped that expanding cycle lanes can help to capitalise on this recent increase in active travel. You can read more here.