Tag Archive: belgium

  1. Belgian bicycle logistics figures provide insight into growth potential

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    Source: fietsberaad Crow

    About 33 percent of the pre- and post-transport during the delivery of packages in Belgian cities could be done by bicycle, according to the Belgian Cycle Logistics Federation in its first Barometer of the bicycle logistics sector. Currently it is estimated that it is only one percent.

    The bicycle logistics sector in Belgium is growing rapidly, in the past two years the number of delivered packages grew from 250 thousand to 850 thousand and turnover and the number of people working in the sector doubled. They cycled more than a million kilometers in 2022 and a package delivered by them had a factor of 40 less CO2 emissions than with a conventional van.

    But things can still be much better, according to the Belgian Cycle Logistics Federation, an association of Belgian bicycle logistics companies with the aim of achieving the full potential of bicycle logistics to combat climate change, offer fair and good jobs in the transport sector, and participate in creating liveable and sustainable cities.

    In addition to data about the sector, the Barometer also contains a questionnaire survey among 55 bicycle couriers about the content of their work, how they experience it and what kind of contract they have. The challenges of the sector have also been identified. The most important one is that bicycle logistics is not yet sufficiently known among relevant stakeholders, which means that it is overlooked as a solution. Secondly, the sector still faces an economic challenge because it is relatively new. And thirdly, it is important that good quality infrastructure is created so that bicycle couriers can do their work safely. Finally, the barometer contains an overview of lessons from practice and a plan to further develop bicycle logistics in small steps to a market share of 33 percent.

    The Belgian Cycle Logistics Federation wants to publish this barometer annually from now on to map the progress of the sector.

  2. Belgium works on a bicycle registration system to combat bicycle theft

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    Source: Tweewieler, H.Berendsen

    Belgium has taken the next step towards registering bicycles to protect against theft. The registration system, called ‘MyBike’, should reduce the risk of bicycle theft, with cyclists being able to stick a unique QR code on their bicycles.

    The cooperation agreement was concluded at the initiative of the federal Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, between the federal governments of the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region, and can now be submitted to the Flemish Parliament. Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters explains: “We like to cycle a lot in Flanders, but if your bicycle is stolen, that is a serious loss. Especially if it is a more expensive vehicle such as a racing bike, an e-bike or a speed pedelec. The fear of bicycle theft should not prevent people from traveling by bicycle. That is why we are working with the federal government and the other regions in Belgium on a user-friendly platform where people can register their bicycles, to prevent theft and to encourage bicycle use even more.”

    Unique sticker code

    In the future, cyclists can request a sticker free of charge to stick on their bicycle, which contains a unique QR code. This code allows bicycle owners to store their bicycle’s data in a secure system, and be able to report it if any theft occurs. If thieves offer a stolen bicycle for sale or leave it behind, a potential buyer, finder or the police can immediately scan the code and identify whether the bicycle has been reported as stolen. “The main advantage of this centralised bicycle register is the unique code that’s linked to one specific bicycle. You can register multiple bicycles, and each will receive its own code. If a bicycle is stolen or lost, the competent authorities can also easily trace the owner,” said Minister Peeters.

    Development of central register

    The cooperation agreement between the various regions and the federal government must now be voted on in parliament. In the meantime, working on system development continues. The intention is that the federal government will be responsible for centralised register management, with each region developing their own user portal and help desk. Sticker printing and shipping providers also need to be sourced. The police are also involved in developing the platform.
    The partners are aiming to launch the new system in 2024. When launch time approaches, information sessions will be organised to explain the system in detail to local authorities and municipal prevention and mobility services, among others.

    To combine forces

    Georges Gilkinet, Federal Minister of Mobility has said the following about this anti-theft initiative: “Bicycle theft is a real plague. It is crucial that we join forces to combat it better. After the Walloon and Brussels Governments previously gave their approval, this agreement going to the Flemish Government is therefore good news. This allows us to offer this central bicycle register to cyclists through 2024. This system is an essential part in the fight against bicycle theft. Together we are stronger!” Elke Van den Brandt, Brussels mobility minister: “Experience in Brussels shows that the secure My Bike sticker will really make a difference. We also invest in well-secured bicycle parking spaces. Both projects are complementary and crucial in the fight against bicycle theft.” Philippe Henry, Walloon Minister of Mobility: “I am very pleased with the progress of this project being included in the Walloon bicycle plan that was adopted in 2022. The Mybike system, which will very soon replace bicycle engravings, is part of a global approach which aims to effectively combat bicycle theft and further promote mobility via active modes of transport.”

  3. Freight Transport Bootcamp coming up in November 2023 at VUB Belgium

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    Interested industry professionals are called to participate in the Freight Transport Bootcamp scheduled for November 17, 2023, to be held at the U-Residence on the VUB Campus in Etterbeek.

    The primary goal of this intensive bootcamp is to delve into the challenges and opportunities that urban freight transport presents. It seeks to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities and intricacies surrounding this critical aspect of urban infrastructure. The event will feature interactive workshops, expert lectures, real-world case studies, and hands-on activities.

    The bootcamp’s content spans a wide array of topics, including last-mile delivery, e-commerce, cargobikes, smart transportation systems, and policy interventions. The aim is to equip participants with practical insights to develop innovative and sustainable strategies capable of revolutionizing urban freight transport. These insights are founded on the “8 A’s” framework for creating a more sustainable transport system, which includes elements such as Awareness, Avoidance, Act and Shift, Anticipation of new technologies, Acceleration, Actor Involvement, Adapt behavior, and All in love.

    Importantly, the bootcamp is tailored to cater to a diverse range of participants. Urban planners, transportation professionals, policymakers, logistics managers, environmental enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and individuals passionate about crafting sustainable and efficient urban freight systems are all encouraged to attend. It extends its arms to both industry professionals looking to enhance their knowledge and students eager to explore sustainable transportation solutions.

    Attendees can expect to gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and potential solutions in the realm of urban freight transport. The event offers a unique opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field, engage in collaborative discussions with peers from various backgrounds, and develop practical skills to address real-world problems.

    By participating in this bootcamp, individuals have the chance to contribute to making cities more livable, reducing environmental impact, and shaping the future of urban logistics. It is a valuable opportunity for industry professionals seeking to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving field and for students interested in sustainable urban development.

    Please note that registration for the bootcamp is mandatory, with a registration fee of €250 for general participants and a reduced rate of €100 for students.

    Follow the link for the agenda and further information.

  4. AureusDrive visits partners in Belgium and Switzerland

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    Swiss electric bike and e-bike drive systems brand AureusDrive has shared updates from recent workshop and repair and test centre visits in nearby regions.

    AureusDrive develops, designs, conceptualizes, configures and assembles e-bike systems with a focus on the commuter. Last week, the company’s two founders and managing directors, Sergio Tresch and Gabriel Barroso, embarked on a visit to seven partner workshops in Belgium. During this excursion, they not only explored picturesque landscapes and cities but also gained valuable insights into their partner market.

    The trip provided AureusDrive with an opportunity to strengthen relationships with esteemed partner workshops and collaborate on future improvements and innovations. This collaboration proved to be invaluable, enabling them to implement various optimizations and ensure that the brand’s high-quality Power45 S-Pedelec fully aligns with the needs and requirements of the Belgian market.

    In addition, AureusDrive is pleased to introduce new partners, bikesLab and Vélochouché in French-speaking Switzerland. They are currently available for service and repairs, and soon they will also offer test drives.

    The team eagerly anticipates reaping the rewards of this journey and further fortifying partnerships.


    AureusDrive, founded by Sergio and Gabriel in 2017, envisions ecological mobility for everyone. The startup specializes in developing, designing, conceptualizing, configuring, and assembling e-bike systems, with a particular focus on the commuter. The brand’s affordable, sturdy, and stylish e-bikes aim to encourage commuters to make the switch from cars to e-bikes. Currently, AureusDrive boasts a team of 12 employees and is experiencing rapid growth. Its e-bike community is approaching four digits, collectively covering an impressive seven-figure mileage. As a result, AureusDrive has already reduced CO2 emissions by 150,000 kg.

    AureusDrive’s mission is to provide affordable, sturdy, and stylish electric vehicles for all. In addition to this core mission, AureusDrive offers services in Lucerne and extends its support to partners throughout Switzerland. AureusDrive provides delivery and collection services for e-bikes (free of charge for warranty cases) and offers cost-effective replacement rental e-bikes.

  5. OVG6 reports upward trend in e-bike ownership and journeys in Belgium

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    Source: network duurzame mobiliteit

    Since 1994, the Flemish Government has been conducting research into the travel behaviour of Flemish people. This research is called the Research on Travel Behaviour, or OVG. In this study, a number of mobility characteristics of families and persons are studied, such as: characteristics of the person who moves, when, why, from where, to where, with what, for how long and how far someone moves. In the meantime, we are in the 6th edition.

    Results were shared in an article entitled ‘How do we move post-corona?‘, with detailed information broken down by sector. The data indicated positive trends for LEVs both in levels of e-bike ownership and in their modal share of journeys.

    Vehicle and driving licence ownership: more than 1 in 3 families own an e-bike

    Source: Institute for Mobility, June 2023

    77% of Flemish families have at least one bicycle, a number that is in line with previous studies. The number of Flemish families who own an electric bicycle is rising sharply. 35% of Flemish families also have an electric bicycle. For comparison: pre-corona (2019) this was only 20%.

    A Flemish family has an average of 2.13 bicycles (of which 1.61 regular bicycles and 0.49 electric bicycles). That figure remains stable over the years. 77.3% of families have at least one bicycle (including electric bicycles).

    The number of families with an electric bicycle continues to increase sharply: in OVG 5.2 this was still 10.89%, in OVG 5.3 16.93%, in OVG 5.4 17.78% and in OVG 5.5 more than 1 in 5 families (20.13%) has at least 1 electric bicycle. In OVG6, e-bike ownership is making another big leap: 35% of families will have an electric bicycle by 2022. Booming business.

    Much more often by electric bicycle (modal split)

    Source: Institute for Mobility, June 2023

    Flemish people cycle and walk more and more: 18.1% of journeys are made by bicycle and 17.3% on foot. The electric bicycle is on the rise: 5.3% of trips are with the electric bicycle and 0.3% with the speed pedelec.

    Based on OVG6, the Flemish government’s goal of making at least 40% of all journeys in a sustainable way has already been achieved.

  6. Pendelfonds subsidizes sustainable commuting in Belgium

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    The commuter fund is now open for applications for projects that improve the connection between public transport and the workplace, and projects that stimulate the use of nearby bicycle highways.

    Commuting must be more sustainable. We still use the car too much to get to work and this without taking one or more colleagues with us. In the near future, the share of private car use in commuting should decrease. The share of bicycles and public transport in commuting must increase.

    The Pendelfonds subsidy has been set up in order to achieve these objectives, among other things. Pendelfonds subsidizes projects that promote sustainable commuting. Projects aimed at reducing the number of car journeys in the field of commuting may be eligible. Companies or other private institutions, but also local or provincial governments or other public institutions (in collaboration with a private partner) can also apply for the subsidy.

    The subsidy amounts to a maximum of half of the costs associated with the project implementation, with a maximum of 200,000 euros when a company submits alone. This maximum amount increases depending on whether the project is submitted by two or more companies: 250,000 euros for 2 companies, 300,000 euros for 3 companies, 350,000 euros for 4, and 400,000 for 5 or more companies. The project duration is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 years.

    On 18 September, the 14th call for Pendelfonds applications was opened and companies and governments can apply to submit a dossier. With this funding, the Flemish government aims to give subsidies to initiatives that make commuting more sustainable. The 14th call is aimed at projects that improve the connection between public transport and the workplace, and at projects that stimulate the use of nearby bicycle highways.

    Companies and organisations that want to submit a project can apply for a filing number from 18 September to 18 October. After that, they have until January 18 to complete the grant application. The more a submitted project falls under the focus of the call, the higher the score of the project, and the more chance of receiving funding.

  7. Brussels suburbs refuse entry to shared e-scooter services

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    Source: TheMayor.eu

    The suburbs surrounding the Belgian capital have recently made the decision to abolish access for e-scooters – in contrast to Paris’s policies, where they have been banned from the city centre’s streets.

    In April, Paris residents voted to ban the e-scooter sharing services within the city, sparking discussions about the potential emergence of this action in other major European cities. Interestingly, in neighbouring Belgium, it’s not the capital region but the tranquil suburbs adjacent to Brussels that are embracing this idea.

    These new changes mean that attempting to complete a journey on an e-scooter across the municipal limits to neighbouring suburbs just isn’t possible.

    E-scooter companies have since urged Flemish local authorities to allow shared micro-mobility services, however these efforts have been met with strong opposition. E-scooter operators like Bolt and Tier are keen to expand into the Flemish satellite municipalities surrounding Brussels due to their proximity to the city centre, unlike the municipalities situated to the south of Brussels, which are more distant from the centre.

    Given that shared e-scooter schemes would improve the mobility integration with downtown Brussels, where many residents work and spend leisure time, this begs the question of why the governments of the municipalities in question refuse to allow this.

    According to The Brussels Times, the smaller local governments are unimpressed by the numerous complaints about reckless speeding and chaotic parking that often accompany the use of shared micro-mobility services.

    Ingrid Holemans, the mayor of Zaventem, a town whose territory includes the international airport of the Belgian capital, simply stated, “We don’t want them.”

    The VIAS road safety institute reveals that accidents involving electric scooters in Belgium have quadrupled over the past two years. Such statistics raise concerns among local officials, who have concluded that e-scooters could disrupt the peaceful nature of suburban life.

    Even in Brussels proper, the future appears bleak for electric two-wheelers. Starting from 2024, only two operators will be allowed to operate within the Belgian capital, each with a cap of 4,000 scooters. Whether this restriction will influence the municipalities to open their doors to these services remains uncertain.

  8. POLIS call for speakers

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    Submissions open for event on sustainable urban mobility in cities and regions in Leuven, Belgium

    Source: POLIS

    POLIS is an organisation that works with European local and regional authorities to promote sustainable mobility through the deployment of innovative transport solutions. Their goal is to improve local transport through integrated strategies that address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of transport.

    The 2023 POLIS Conference is set to take place on 29-30 November in Leuven, Belgium, and will see experts, practitioners and representatives of cities and regions come together in the name of sustainable urban mobility. POLIS has put out a call for all interested speakers to pick one of their 50 priority topics and apply by 28 April 2023:

    “Presentations are sought for the technical parallel sessions on the topics listed…Abstracts should highlight the innovative dimensions, results achieved, and lessons learned by speakers and organisations.

    We are looking for dynamic speakers to share their insights on the latest trends and developments in urban transport innovation. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a rising mobility star, the Annual POLIS Conference is the perfect platform to tell your mobility story and connect with like-minded individuals!”

    Applicants should choose from only one of the listed topics for their abstract, full details of which can be found from page 6 onwards of the pdf Call for Speakers document.

  9. Brussels’ Good Move Plan slashes traffic numbers and boosts cycling

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    Source: TheMayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    The new traffic plan in the city’s centre has triggered a 19% drop in traffic while increasing cycling by an average of 18%.

    Good Move is the Regional Mobility Plan for the Brussels-Capital Region. Approved in 2020 by the Brussels Government, it defines the main policy guidelines in the field of mobility. This plan aims to improve the living environment of the people of Brussels, while supporting the demographic and economic development of the Brussels-Capital Region. In the city centre ‘pentagon’, the plan aims to change traffic flow through road closure and new one-way designation, thus leading to a less attractive driving experience.

    After six months, the first results of the scheme have been unveiled, though local authorities state that it is too early to draw broad and sweeping conclusions. Initial findings indicate that the central part of Brussels has a reduced traffic flow, with more walking space, pedestrians, cyclists, reduced noise and cleaner air when compared to measurement prior to the scheme. Total traffic has fallen by approximately 19%, while morning and evening rush-hour cycling has risen by an approximately 23% and 13% respectively.

    Alderman Dhondt was quoted in a press statement saying: “Many people have simply made a different mobility choice and switched to cycling or public transport, for example. The circulation plan thus contributes to the ultimate goal: a more pleasant city for everyone.”

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