Brussels goes car-free for the day as royal family joins in two-wheeled festival
Belgian capital given over to riders, bladers and walkers
Belgian capital Brussels celebrated its twelfth annual car-free Sunday yesterday.
The city centre was closed to motor vehicles between 7am and 7pm as the culmination of ‘mobility week’, which aimed to promote alternatives to car use, according to Le Soir.
The car-free day was a success and attracted thousands of visitors to taste the joys of cycling, skating or even walking in the streets of the capital, according to the Brussels Secretary of State for Mobility, Bruno De Lille.
However, there was one hiccup, or collection of hiccups. Ambulances were called out to treat more minor falls and sprains among cyclists than on a regular Sunday. The usual average is 250 calls; on Sunday there were 350.
Our French is rusty to say the least, but it certainly looks like most of the people in the first of these two videos were having a good time, and local TV even resisted the temptation to find an irate taxi driver to interview.
In this second video, though, a few drivers unable to get into Brussels do seem to be getting a bit impatient.
Still, the day had royal blessing, with King Phillippe and Queen Mathilde taking to the streets by bike with their four children: