Wallonia adopts Vision FAST 2030 mobility plan
Last Thursday, the Walloon government adopted a new mobility plan aiming to enhance mobility by 2030. Called ‘Vision FAST 2030’, this vision wants to combine all alternative transport solutions to reduce the modal share of private cars.
Mobility hubs grouping all those transport solutions will be put up in every municipality. The plan also wants to increase the number of cycling paths to 7.000 km, promote car-sharing, introduce synchronized schedules, increase the number of trains and improve connections to airports.
Wallonia is currently Belgium’s ugly duckling in terms of mobility. Train and bus connexions are poor, shared mobility is practically inexistent and cycling paths aren’t used or maintained.
No wonder the private car remains the primarly used means of transport with 83%. Even though congestion isn’t as saturated as in Brussels, the Walloon government needs to act rapidly. Last Thursday, it adopted a new ambitious plan destined to better mobility, called Vision FAST 2030.
Reducing private car use
“Currently, we’re projecting and defining what way to follow. It’s a very important and intermediate step between the objective and its application. Everything isn’t numbered yet, but the idea is to know what strategy to follow to meet our objectives”, declares François Dubru, spokesperson to Walloon Mobility Minister, Carlo Di Antonio (cdH).
Goal of this new plan is to combine on every trip all the available transport solutions. Thus, increasing efficiency and drastically reducing the modal share of private cars (from 83% to 60%). With FAST 2030, Wallonia intends to reduce all of the mobility’s nuisances, namely pollution, accessibility issues, congestion and accidents.
The FAST 2030 plan builds upon the introduction of mobility hubs. Real backbones of this vision, they will appear all over Wallonia in the upcoming years. By 2023, around a hundred will be created and by 2030 all Walloon municipalities should have at least one.
Mobility hubs, as their name suggests, are places where all mobility solutions are gathered. They will offer quick connections to buses and trains, parking solutions with charging points, safe locks for bicycles, access to shared cars and much more.
To make sure everyone has access to them, Wallonia will introduce a local taxi system that will drive people from their home to the hubs and back.
Six major actions
In addition to the local taxi system, FAST 2030 includes five other major actions to enhance mobility. Improving car-sharing is one of them. The Walloon government aims at increasing the number of available shared cars to one per 1.000 citizens.
To encourage cycling – the modal share of the bike is currently 1% in Wallonia – cycling paths will be extended. The plan’s objective is to extend the network from 3.500 to 7.000 kilometres by 2030. A budget increase is also planned. Every Walloon citizen will be allocated 15 euro for the purchase and 1 euro for the maintenance of their bicycle.
While railways aren’t under Wallonia’s umbrella, the government pushes for better management. Its desire is to make trains the structural spinal column of mobility. The Region asks to increase the number of trains to one every hour at least, in both directions.
As Greenpeace suggested recently, synchronized schedules are also part of FAST 2030. Wallonia wants a structured offer of rapid bus and trains serving every municipality between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. The objective is to increase the share of public transport from 4 to 10% by 2030. Buses and trams will play a major role in this expansion.
Connections between two regional airports are also part of the vision. Wallonia wants to offer appropriate transport to them while limiting investments in infrastructure.