Brussels street

Brussels city centre reports big cuts in crashes and pollution from low traffic plan

  • May 31, 2024

The city centre of Brussels, known as the ‘pentagon’ district, has seen a significant transformation following the implementation of a new traffic plan. The plan has led to a decrease in car traffic and an increase in cyclists, according to the city’s vice mayor for mobility Bart Dhondt, speaking to Bruzz, a local newspaper. 

According to Mr Dhont, ongoing studies show improvements in road safety, air quality, and noise pollution. 

The traffic plan, part of the ‘Good Move’ initiative, reduced car traffic by 20 percent and boosted cycling by about the same amount. The number of reported collisions in the ‘pentagon’ fell by a fifth, from 316 in 2019 to 251 in 2023.

The reduction in traffic has also led to less noise pollution, a factor often underestimated in its impact on health. Air quality in the city centre has improved significantly since 2018, particularly in areas affected by the circulation plan

Despite criticism that the plan would increase traffic on the city’s inner ring road, the data show that the number of cars and travel time remained virtually the same. 

The impact on trade was also examined. Overall spending remained similar when adjusted for inflation, with customers spending 1.1 billion euros in 2022 and 1.2 billion in 2023.