One step closer to Brussels Ring 2.0

The Flemish government has approved the Regional Spatial Implementation Plan for the northern part of the Ring Road around Brussels, bringing a 550-million-euro remodeling a step closer. Flanders wants to make the R0-North between Sint-Stevens-Woluwe and Groot-Bijgaarden more traffic-safe and increase the area’s livability.

In the spring of 2023, a public inquiry on the provisional Regional Spatial Implementation Plan (GRUP) ran. During this process, 400 objections were submitted and processed regarding, among other things, the nitrogen issue, which caused the approval of the GRUP to take a month longer.

Now that approval in principle has been obtained, the redesign will tackle 115 traffic bottlenecks, such as the Ring’s interchanges with the E40 toward Leuven, the E19 in Machelen, and those with the A12 and the E40 toward Ghent.

27 crossing facilities and 60 ecological connections

“We are taking changing mobility into account and are resolutely focusing on sustainable modes of transport such as cycling and public transport,” Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) said. “Thus, the GRUP counts 27 comfortable and safe connections and crossing facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. The plan is also flexible, with a view to innovations, such as autonomous vehicles and new forms of public transport.”

Furthermore, 60 ‘ecological connections’ are included in the GRUP. A landscape bridge at the Laarbeek forest should counteract the defragmentation of nature, and the Woluwe brook will also be opened up, as will seven other brooks. “We are tackling noise and air pollution and creating additional green buffers and open space,” said Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA).

Works start at the end of 2025

Now that the approval in principle has been granted, the Flemish government will seek the option of the Council of State. Afterward, the government will proceed to the final determination. Meanwhile, the first more concrete designs and technical plans are being drawn to apply for environmental permits.

The works are expected to start at the end of 2025, while the complete redevelopment of the Brussels Ring Road is planned between 2032 and 2035.

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