Whether it is an effect of the recent ban in Paris is not immediately clear, but Brussels is drastically changing course about shared vehicles. Starting next year, the Brussels government wants to allow a maximum of 8 000 shared e-scooters on the capital’s streets.
From 2024, there would only be room for two operators versus about eight currently. Other shared vehicles, such as bicycles and cargo bikes, will also be limited. This is according to a draft decree approved by the government at the second reading.
Less shared micro-mobility, more drop zones
Compared to the first version of the draft, the total number of e-scooters will be sharply curtailed. There would thus only be room for 8 000 e-scooters, compared to 21 000 at present, which can be deployed by a maximum of two operators from 2024 to 2027. The new draft also has room for a maximum of 4 000 bicycles, 500 mopeds, and 500 cargo bikes.
To combat wild parking, the drop zones will be extended to the entire territory of the Capital Region from January. Only in these zones will vehicles be allowed to be left behind.
There are about 100 drop zones on regional roads and more than 350 subsidized on municipal roads. Others are already established or about to be operational without subsidies in Ixelles (nearly 140), Saint-Gilles (20), Saint-Lambert-Woluse (75), Saint-Agatha-Berchem (31), Evere (50), and Koekelberg (20). More than 800 drop zones will be installed by next summer.
Heftier fines, treat of ban
The government also wants heftier fines for moving or removing a vehicle left outside these drop zones. The draft now talks about amounts of 35 euros in case of necessity of displacement for some machines, 100 euros per bike or e-scooter to remove (200 euros per moped or cargo bike), and 20 euros per day for storing a bike or e-scooter (30 euros per moped or cargo bike) in violation.
Another change is that there will be more zones with a maximum speed of 8 km/hour. Therefore, in addition to the pedestrian zones in the center of the capital and Ixelles, the municipalities will be able to add other areas where this limit must be respected.
If all these measures do not suffice, there is nothing to rule out a strict ban at a later stage, Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) made clear in Parliament a few weeks ago.
“We want to strongly regulate their use so that other road users are no longer hindered on their way. We will also monitor this closely, and if it appears that the rules are not being followed or are not proving effective enough, we will consider moving to a total ban on shared e-scooters.”
The draft decision must still be submitted to the Council of State before the government can begin a third and final reading.
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