Mixed reactions to the decision of the Flemish government on the mobility plans. Antwerp’s Alderman for Mobility Koen Kennis (N-VA) is pleased that there will be interventions for residents in the region around Antwerp. According to Dirk Wiesé of TreinTramBus, it all comes much too late.
READ ALSO. Antwerp will get three express tram lines and passenger transport on freight track NMBS, the only question is: with what money?
The client of the Oosterweelwerken Lantis and the city of Antwerp also make commitments to achieve fifty percent sustainable travel. For example, Antwerp, together with the Roads and Traffic Agency, will further focus on smooth flow of public transport. Lantis supports local authorities in the construction of mobility nodes. The cycling infrastructure will be further strengthened, also outside the city of Antwerp. The approach to motivate companies and employees to choose sustainable means of transport via Smart to Antwerp will be expanded to the entire Antwerp region.
“The whole picture must be right to keep Antwerp and the Antwerp region accessible, to permanently realize the modal shift that the Future Alliance aims to achieve,” says Koen Kennis (N-VA), Antwerp Alderman for Mobility and chairman of the Antwerp Transport Region. “Public transport is an essential part of this. We are therefore pleased with the new tram infrastructure and that the existing framework contract for the purchase of trams is being fully utilized. The challenges remain great in the field of maintenance of tram infrastructure, especially with regard to Scheldt crossing traffic. It is therefore important that the services of the ferries across the Scheldt are assured after 2024. The biggest challenges towards more sustainable mobility now lie in the region.”
READ ALSO. Next week there will be a ferry between the right and left banks every fifteen minutes
Dirk Wiesé, TreinTramBus: “Dramatic”
Dirk Wiesé of the travelers organization TreinTramBus (TTB) is happy with what has been announced, but according to him it is all much too late. He expects that the situation on the roads will be dramatic with the Oosterweel works.
“It has always been said within the Future Alliance that the modal split to 50 percent sustainable travel must first be achieved before the works on Oosterweel can start,” says Wiesé. “This is because the capacity of the Ring is decreasing. It has been predicted that when the bypass for the Merksem viaduct is constructed, there would be a traffic jam as far as Sint-Niklaas. It is therefore a shame that the interventions announced ten years ago have still not been implemented. The budgets haven’t even been decided yet. In the best case, these announced interventions will only take place once the Oosterweel works have been completed. This is dramatic, especially for the Antwerp economy. If a decision had actually been made about budgets and timing, I would be a little more positive, but now? It is again an announcement policy and what is announced simply comes too late, much too late.”