Heavy traffic to the Coast: the trains taken by storm, the motorway of the sea loaded

As the thermometer climbed sharply on Saturday, many Belgians sought to cool off on the coast. As a result, the roads to the Belgian coast are very busy, indicates the Flemish traffic center (Vlaams Verkeerscentrum). The first traffic jams started to form after 9:00 a.m. and around noon there were still problems to be expected, mainly on the E40. Temperatures exceeded 30°C on Saturday, an early heatstroke that is likely to be repeated in the years to come due to the climate crisis. To avoid suffocating, many people head to the Coast, where it is cooler. “From Brussels to Ostend, it takes half an hour more travel time because traffic is slowed down in several places by concertina lines”, warns the spokesman of the Vlaams Verkeerscentrum, Peter Bruyninckx. “It’s been going on for a while.”

Shortly before noon, the Vlaams Verkeerscentrum website reported nearly 36 kilometers of traffic jams, which is relatively high for this time of day.

The stations taken over

The trains connecting the Coast, the coolest place in Belgium on Saturday, were full. “We have been channeling people since the morning in the stations of Brussels, Ghent and Bruges, and in this way the crowds are manageable,” explained SNCB spokesman Bart Crols. Ten additional trains towards the coast have been chartered, one more than announced. These additional convoys were useful, because “there are many people in the stations and the trains”, underlines Mr. Crols.

In the stations of Brussels, Ghent and Bruges, travelers cannot go to the platform if the arriving train is already full. They are then directed to other trains in the direction of the Coast.

The evening exodus from the coast inland is generally more spread out and should in principle not cause major problems.

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