Brussels is closer to passing a “pollution peaks” legislation in Parliament that will make public transport and the public bicycle system free, demand reduced vehicle speeds in the city and ban wood-fired heaters after two days of high pollution days.
The city council will make buses, trams, the metro and bikes free if particulate matter (PM) pollution in the air exceeds an average of 51 to 70 micrograms per cubic metre of air for two consecutive days (48 hours).
Cars will have to stick to a third the normal speed limit, and wood burning would be banned in households that have other heating methods.
Pascal Smet, Brussels’ mobility minister:
“Research shows that the more space you give to cars, the more cars you attract. Indeed, the most car-friendly cities are also the most congested. By giving back space to pedestrians and cyclists, cities can create places where people meet and connect.”
The entire territory of the Brussels Capital Region became a low emissions zone on 1 January 2018 as part of efforts to drive down pollution levels to EU standards.
The zone bans most polluting vehicles (those that are non-Euro standard or only Euro-I standard) from Brussels’ streets. The city also aims to make all city buses electric by 2030.
Residents of Brussels can already check air quality in real time on this website.
More coverage here: Brussels to make public transport free on high air pollution days