Delivery vans now account for one vehicle in ten on the roads of Brussels, thanks to the growth of online sales, according to a study by Bruxelles-Mobilité, cited by Le Soir.
Online sales are however only part of the explanation. A restriction on heavy-duty vehicles as well as the limited access to the city centre’s pedestrian zone have both resulted in delivery companies choosing to use smaller delivery vehicles, which results in more traffic.
According to the study, the number of vans registered in the capital between 2014 and 2017 rose by 40%, while the number of vehicles in general fell, by 10% between 2009 and 2016. The share of vans, therefore, increased as a proportion of all traffic. The number of heavy-duty vehicles, at the same time, dropped by 4%, with companies replacing lorries with vans.
The problem, however, is limited: The majority of delivery vans take up the roads of the capital between 0500 and 0700, after which the presence of vans drops between 0800 and 0900. For anyone in a hurry, the average speed in the city centre is lower than 30 km/h from around 0600.