People in the Belgian capital Brussels with reduced mobility are now able to apply for an exemption that will grant them access to the city's Low Emission Zone (LEZ), should their vehicle not meet the necessary emission standards.
The amendment was initiated by the Brussels Minister for Environment and Climate Transition, Alain Maron, and agreed by the regional government in December 2020. The decision will see Brussels’ LEZ legislation adapted, thus aligning it with legislation adopted in Antwerp for that city’s LEZ.
The new exemption will allow drivers with reduced mobility to continue to drive in Brussels, free of sanctions. Specifically, it will apply to those people with a mobility disability who receive an increased contribution from the state for health care. In order to be eligible, applicants must also be a holder of a special parking card for persons with disabilities. The exemption may only be requested for one vehicle per parking card.
The measure comes in addition to existing exemptions for the Belgian capital’s LEZ. Other people who qualify for an exemption include persons who benefit from a social service or similar assistance, including social integration income, disability allowance, or income guarantee for the elderly. However, the new exemption will be valid for five years, whereas existing exemptions are only valid for three years.
According to a spokesperson from Brussels Environment, people with reduced mobility are typically highly reliant on cars as their principal means of transport. In addition, for these people limited access to sufficient financial resources can often mean that purchasing a new vehicle - that meets the LEZ standards - is very challenging. This illustrates the importance of such exemptions for people with reduced mobility as part of urban vehicle access restrictions.
Photo Credit: © Claudio Divizia / Shutterstock.com - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.