New figures confirm 45% less traffic on Flemish highways
Since the introduction of the restrictive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, there are far fewer traffic jams on the Flemish highways. The number of kilometers driven fell back with 44,7%. This is shown by figures from the Flemish Traffic Center.
No more structural traffic jams
“The structural traffic jams have disappeared, and the morning and evening rush hours are also disappearing,” Bruyninckx, spokesman for the Flemish Traffic Center, says. “There are still some traffic jams, which are mainly caused by roadworks, accidents, or border controls.
He points out that on the E19 at the border-crossing in Meer, there were long traffic jams after the introduction of the restrictive corona measures. A separate lane for trucks solved this problem.
“These are really historic days, especially since this is the most traffic-prone period of the year,” Bruyninckx adds. In addition, it is striking that the number of kilometers driven on highways is decreasing.
Just after the introduction of the restrictive measures (week of 16 to 20 March), the number of kilometers driven on highways fell significantly, by 44,7%. Freight traffic decreased by only 4,7% that week. The next following week the decrease did really start (-20,2%).
During the week from 30 March to 3 April, passenger traffic was down 66,1%, and freight traffic dropped 24,2%. The differences are even more pronounced during the weekends, with 42% less freight traffic, and 86% less passenger traffic last weekend.
Measures have an impact
“This is what the government wanted to achieve with the corona measures,” Bruyninckx continues. “Non-essential movements are mostly done by passenger cars, and we see the effects of teleworking, the fact that shops are closed and, unfortunately, technical unemployment,” he concludes.
The Traffic Center also asks via the dynamic road signs on the highway “not to make non-essential journeys”. Bruyninckx also points out that the figures have remained stable in recent weeks. “This indicates people are aware of the importance of staying home.”