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Brussels looks to ban motorcycles

The Belgium government are looking to ban motorcycles from the Brussels region in a bid to cut emissions and dust pollution

IN a move that seems to go against all common sense, the Belgium government are looking to ban motorcycles from the streets of the capital in a bid to cut emissions.

The government agency in charge of the environment, imaginatively titled the Brussels Environment, is to carry out a detailed study, charting the amount of fine dust and greenhouse gases are produced by motorcycles in the next year. Once complete, they will then decide if certain areas of the city should prohibit powered two-wheelers which the low-emissions zone.

The Belgian Federation of Automobile and Cycle are reported by Belgian paper, Het Laatste Nieuws, to have called the move an act of “pure provocation”.

The Brussels Times also reports that a French study revealed that motorcycles emit up to eleven times more carbon monoxide and six times more nitrogen oxide than cars because new motorcycles ‘only’ have to be in compliance with the Euro 4-norm whereas cars need the Euro 6-rating.

The statement above is sharply opposed to the overall view of most that motorcycles are not only better for the environment in terms of emissions released into the atmosphere, but also help in other ways like easing congestion and sitting stationary in traffic for less time.

 La Dernière Heure reports that the First analyses show that motorcycles in Brussels are responsible for 6% of the total CO2-emissions, 0.2% of nitrogen emissions and 0.4% of fine dust.

Philippe Dehennin, the chairman of Febiac went on record as saying: “This kind of reasoning is simplistic because it targets a minority of the road users and because it has been proven that daily traffic jams could be reduced with 40% if only 10% of drivers would choose a motorcycle instead of a car. We invite the Region to look at mobility in a different way instead of announcing a ban.”

“European legislation chose to regulate all the large numbers and larger vehicles first, and the smaller ones (mopeds and motorcycles) after,” he said, adding that the Euro 5-norm will be mandatory for motorcyclists starting from 2020.”

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