The new governing coalition of the city of Brussels has agreed to implement a default 30 km/h speed limit across the city from January 2021.
The measure, which will apply to all residential streets, but not to main roads such as the inner ring road tunnels, will be a significant extension. Only around half of the city’s roads currently apply a 30 km/h limit.
The main driver’s club, Touring, welcomed the move, saying it would provide “clarity” for drivers.
A number of experts have warned that the measure will only be effective if accompanied by enforcement and infrastructure changes. The new city mobility plan, currently subject to a public consultation, includes plans to make infrastructure changes to account both for the reduced speed limits and reallocation of space for walking and cycling.
Public pressure for the improvements has mounted in Brussels, driven in part by the death of a young journalist, killed by a 20 year old driver driving above the 50 km/h limit on a city road in the area of Schaerbeek. That tragedy led to a grass roots campaign for a 30 km/h limit in Schaerbeek and wider recognition of the problem of road safety across the city.