7 Nov 18

Being stuck in traffic costs €10/h in Belgium

Traffic jams are more than a nuisance or a source of air pollution, they are also a waste of money. According to a survey by the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB), being stuck in traffic with your car costs the economy €10/h. The news is even worse for lorries: they lose €78/h.

Earlier, the OECD had estimated that mobility problems in Belgium have a yearly impact of 1 to 2% of GDP (between €4.2 and €8.2bn per year).

Political suicide

Traditionally, mobility is a touchy topic in Belgium, where corporate taxation has incited many companies to offer company cars to a large portion of their personnel, even those that do not need one. So far, no politician has stood up to address this system, as that would amount to political suicide.

Changing drivers' behaviour by improving public transport is also not really on the table as this requires a level of investments the Belgian authorities cannot afford. Only one thing appears to be certain in terms of traffic jams in Belgium: they will continue to get worse.

Image: traffic jam in Brussels

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck