Brussels’ annual Car Free Sunday is coming up this month. A hugely popular day in the capital, it sees the entire region closed to vehicular traffic, except public transport.
What is it?
Car-Free Sunday is the annual day that encourages Brussels residents to leave their cars at home and explore alternative forms of transport. It takes place during European Mobility Week, an EU initiative for sustainable urban mobility that started in 2002. Mobility Week encourages more sustainable transport modes to reach social, economic, and environmental objectives. Car-Free Day also offers residents the opportunity to see what their community looks like without traffic.
When is it?
This year’s Car Free Sunday takes place on 19 September. Motorised vehicles cannot drive on any roads in the region between 9.30 and 19.00.
Are there activities?
Lots of them, especially in Brussels-City. Check your own municipality’s website for local events and activities.
What if I have to drive?
Plan not to. There is an official list of authorised vehicles allowed to drive on Car-Free Sunday, on the condition of respecting a 30kph speed limit everywhere.
- Public transport (STIB, TEC, De Lijn)
- Emergency services
- Vehicles of public interest and diplomatic corp
- Press vehicles (with signage)
- People who are disabled (with a card)
Residents both inside and outside of Brussels can request a pass to be allowed to drive in the capital on the day in exceptional circumstances, such as business deliveries or medical reasons. Because public transport and taxis operate on Car-Free Sunday, special requests are approved for extenuating circumstances only.
Is Car-Free Sunday only in Brussels?
Nope. Many other cities will also host Car-Free Sunday on 19 September, with events and activities such as street parties, bike tours and workshops, markets, skateboard parks and food trucks. Check municipal websites for complete information.
Photo ©Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA