Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters has completed her draft investment program for 2024. Almost 700 projects will be supported, accounting for an investment of 2,2 billion euros. Most investments fall within cycling, road safety, and sustainability.
According to Peeters (Open VLD), never has so much been invested in cycling infrastructure in Flanders under her, a high-pressure catch-up operation. However, given that one in three Flemings uses a bicycle daily, safe cycling routes are not present everywhere on regional roads and in towns and cities.
For 2024, the Minister forces 319,5 million euros for 369 cycling projects. Through the Cycling Fund, provinces and local governments are also supported in implementing their cycling policies. That budget was raised from 10 to 15 million euros in 2021, even though several provinces sounded the alarm last year because of an exceptionally high number of projects coming in from municipalities.
More conflict-free intersections
There will also be a new Road Safety Plan with 37 measures, specifically releasing 70 million euros for tackling dangerous spots, making intersections conflict-free, and rolling out route controls, among others.
Of the 728 traffic light-controlled intersections managed by the Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV), 380, or 22%, are currently completely conflict-free. In addition, 1 223 intersections, or 71%, are semi-conflict-free and/or equipped with safety-enhancing interventions.
Further greening of public transport
Furthermore, 10 million euros will be allocated to further developing Hoppin points and making stops accessible in Flanders.
Public transport will also be further green, which has long been a thorny issue. De Lijn will receive 77 million euros to invest in several new types of electric buses, depot adjustments, and various ICT projects. In addition, 49 million euros will also be invested in tram track renewals.
Renovation of bridges and tunnels
Renovating several outdated bridges and tunnels in Flanders is also a big catch-up. For 2024, the Minister foresees an investment of 438 million euros, both for renovating tunnels and managing bridges, locks, and quay walls. Sixty-three million euros will also be released for structural maintenance of roads.
The Roads and Traffic Agency will get 708 million euros next year, and the Department of Mobility and Public Works 386 million euros. De Lijn will reach 320 million euros. Other big gobblers are De Vlaamse Waterweg (285 million euros), Lantis (230 euros), and De Werkvennootschap (217 million euros).
De Vlaamse Waterweg, among others, strengthens inland waterway transport. Lantis is the organization that realizes and manages mobility projects of regional importance in the Antwerp region, and De Werkvennootschap supports large and complex mobility projects.