In 2022, traffic congestion cost the Belgian economy 4,8 billion euros due to lost time, extra fuel consumption, and higher emissions of CO2 and harmful gases. The Federation of Belgian Enterprises (VBO- FEB) reports this based on Stabel and the Federal Planning Bureau data.
Mobility has changed in recent years. Teleworking has taken hold, especially since the corona pandemic, and we all feel the need to reduce pollution more quickly. The number of train passengers has not changed significantly, but the share of cyclists has increased to 14%.
No impact from teleworking
Still, the car remains the most popular means of transport (64,4%), and teleworking has only a marginal impact on the demand for transportation. VBO notes a lack of resources and ambition to improve the situation fundamentally. So, a new, more open, and more proactive approach will be necessary to change mobility in Belgium in all its facets.
VBO, therefore, pleads for more sustainable and efficient mobility and formulates proposals in an action plan. The employers’ organization wants to support companies, improve the offer for private individuals, and create sustainable mobility.
According to VBO, citizens and companies should be able to use “the most efficient, suitable, economical, and environmentally friendly mode of transport.” For example, the mobility budget is an excellent instrument to optimize the use of transport modes.
Deliveries at night
The organization asks regional and local authorities to extend delivery times for silent deliveries to midnight and 5 a.m. to prevent road traffic from getting congested during the day. Finally, the organization asks for a transparent plan for infrastructure maintenance, development, and modernization.
To increase the share of other, more sustainable modes of transport – inland waterways and trains – connectivity between companies and water or railways should be improved and promoted.
‘Detrimental for economy’
Pieter Timmermans, CEO of VBO: “Despite improvements, Belgian roads continue to suffer from severe congestion, the efficiency of our transport is not optimal, the desired modal shift remains limited, and our transport emissions do not meet the necessary reduction requirements for greenhouse gas emissions. That is detrimental to our economy, the population’s well-being, and the environment.”