Restriction on e-scooters in Brussels suspended

The Council of State has overturned the Brussels government's decision to limit the number of e-scooters and e-scooter operators in the streets of the capital. The system of drop-off zones remains in place.

In December, the Brussels region selected Bolt and Dott as the only two companies permitted to operate e-scooters in Brussels. They were both allowed a maximum of 4,000 e-scooters, which had to be parked in designated drop zones.

Two operators, Lime and Voi, had already gone to court, with the result that they could continue their activity until their licences expired. After a complaint from another operator, Gliize, the Council of State has now suspended the Brussels government's decision to limit the number of e-scooter operators to two. The maximum number of scooters per operator is also no longer valid.

The Brussels government had aimed to reduce the number of vehicles in the streets, as they often cause nuisance and danger for pedestrians and people with reduced mobility. The highest court's overturning for now cancels this reform.

'Legal guerilla warfare'

Brussels Mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt expressed her disappointment at "the legal guerrilla warfare by the operators, who had requested and agreed to this reform after extensive consultation".

However, she said the suspension was provisional and that the Council of State’s decision showed the "legal possibilities" to move to a two-operator system and that she would continue to work on this.

The Council of State did validate the legality of the drop-off zones and that of the system of parking fines put in place. “Since 1 January, we have seen a real improvement - even if it is not yet perfect - in terms of respecting pavements,” said Van den Brandt. The Council of State also approved the penalty system that allows the government to exclude operators who don’t comply with the rules.


E-scooters pictured on a Brussels street © BELGA PHOTO CTK /PETR KUPEC

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