ALSO READ: No tram traffic between Antwerp’s left and right bank during All Saints’ weekend
ALSO READ: Wheelchair users and parents with a buggy still have a hard time on the other side of the Scheldt
There will be no tram traffic in Antwerp and Linkeroever during the extended weekend of Saturday October 30, Sunday October 31 and Monday November 1. Installation Agency Roads and Traffic (AWV) road works on the N70 in Zwijndrecht between 30 October and 7 November. As a result, a series of bus lines will be disrupted. Meanwhile, the elevators at the pedestrian tunnel have been out of service for months.
“Do all those agencies and De Lijn talk to each other?” Van Peel wonders. “The lack of alignment is toe curls.” The future ships sees how it will be for more people to cross the Scheldt. The slopes to the pontoon for the ferry or the waterbus are too steep for people in wheelchairs, for example. The service provided by De Lijn is not always reliable, especially now with the works. Because the lifts of the Pedestrian Tunnel have been broken for months, people have to go up the escalators by bicycle.
“It is still doable with a normal bicycle, but it is already more difficult with an electric bicycle, especially if you are a bit older,” says Van Peel. “When the escalators stop for work, as is now the case every Thursday, people have to carry their bicycles up or down. Friends have already fallen hard there.”
Van Peel is the latest to blame his former colleagues politicians. The Antwerp city council has already raised this issue by Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open Vld). According to the ships of honor, the problem lies with the Flemish administration.
“All political parties have already made their voices heard about the poor connection between the Scheldt banks,” says Van Peel. “They have the Minister of Mobility about it. Only those who also fail to unblock the case. Her client was also unsuccessful. So it is independent of any political color.”
Lack of urgency
Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) weighed in on, among other things, Flemish policy, which he had intended. “He does that too, but even he doesn’t get any movement in this,” says Van Peel. “The reason is that all those Flemish agencies are feudal baronies. I miss any sense of urgency. The crumbling canopy on the cyclists’ tunnel had been known for over a year, there was no aim. I do not understand that. If the minister then wants a statement from the agencies, the standard answer is that it is planned somewhere or that there is simply no planning. I have never been able to catch those administrations being proactive and creative.”
“The agencies transfer the files to each other and camp in their own domain. This is shown. Nowhere do people experience this more than here on the Left Bank, especially those who have to cross the Scheldt every day.”