Snow disrupts transport across Belgium
Continued snowfall has disrupted transport across Belgium, with bus services cancelled and drivers required to reduce their speed. Belgian Cup football matches have been postponed because of the weather and waste collection services have been halted in Brussels.
Flanders’ Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV) warned of a slippery evening rush hour on Wednesday, with road surface temperatures at or below freezing across the region. In many places, there is also snow or it is currently snowing. AWV asks road users to be careful, reduce speed, keep their distance and stay well behind gritting vehicles.
The weather also meant traffic was slower, especially in and around Brussels, while the speed limit on several motorways was also reduced to 70 kilometres per hour. For now, no major incidents have been reported on the motorways, although there are difficulties on some slip roads on the Brussels ring road. Smaller incidents were also reported elsewhere during the day.
In Wallonia, public transport company TEC announced on Wednesday afternoon that it had switched to level 4 of its weather plan for all provinces due to snow and freezing rain, resulting in the majority of bus services being cancelled. The safety of users and bus drivers can no longer be guaranteed, a spokesperson said, forcing vehicles to return to their depots.
“Only a few buses are still running in Namur, but the situation is also complicated, and we are heading for a return of vehicles to depots in the region,” confirmed Stéphane Thiery. “In Hainaut, the Charleroi light rail system is still running.”
It is not yet known whether buses will be able to run on Thursday morning, and passengers are asked to check their line on the TEC website before travelling.
A number of flights from Brussels to German cities including Frankfurt and Munich were cancelled earlier in the day.
Rubbish collection services were disrupted in Brussels, with the agency in charge of collection deciding to recall its vehicles to the depot. Residents are asked to put household waste out as usual, with collections to resume as soon as possible, but not to place large items on the street until further notice.
In sport, the quarter-finals of the Belgian Cup were postponed, as the Pro League decided that Union Saint-Gilloise vs Anderlecht and OH Leuven vs Antwerp could not be played in the conditions. The matches have been put back by a week.
#FlandersNewsService | A damaged car in the snow in Vezin, Namur, on 17 January © BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY / Video shows Kolonel Aertsplein in Maaseik © BELGA VIDEO PINO MISURACA / A snowy street in Brussels © PHOTO SOPHIE HUGON / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP