BFOV: Belgian municipal elections on 14 October important for old-timer owner

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In the Netherlands it has been quiet for some time now in the environmental zone. At the southern neighbors of the Netherlands, the Belgian equivalents are still very busy. From October 1 diesel vehicles with a Euro 0 or Euro 1 standard may not enter the Low Emission Zone in Brussels, on pain of a fine of € 350. The Antwerp variant of the environmental zone has been in force for some time, and is only accessible for old-timers with a day pass. In addition, access to the Low Emission Zone in Antwerp in 2020 and in 2025 will be further tightened. The BFOV (Belgian Federation for Old Vehicles) conducted a survey among its members, in which it was asked, among other things, which measure caused the members the most concern. The answer: the Low Emission Zone and its consequences for the vintage car owner.

The BFOV worked hard in the run-up to the municipal elections, because it believes that the old-timer owners should be allowed to move freely in and out of a (future) LEZ as is the case in the Brussels Region from this year on. On 14 October, more than 120.000 vintage car owners can go to the polls to exert influence and make their vote count. That is the number of owners of historical vehicles with an age of 30 years and older. Those vehicles are also equipped with the O-plate, as is used for the classic car in Belgium.

No legal framework in Wallonia

Incidentally, there is no legal framework in Wallonia yet and in Flanders the age limit in Antwerp was the first LEZ to be set at 40 years. The BFOV supports the legal proceedings that have been started against this. Reportedly, the verdict is expected before the turn of the year 2018 / 2019.

BFOV polls political opinion

In the context of the upcoming elections and with a view to the future, the BFOV approached the Belgian political parties. In it, they asked each party how they viewed a future free LEZ access for old-timers older than 30 years and registered with an O license plate. In Flanders, the BFOV greeted a negative response from N-VA. The SPA and CD&V also formulated a negative answer. Only Open VLD and Vlaams Belang, on the other hand, were positive about BFOV's intention, while Groen's positions were revealed in a nuanced atmosphere. The Greens have no objection provided that the owners of classic cars are limited to a set limited number of kilometers per year. They ignore that

Agreements between Walloon and Flemish positions

In Wallonia, ECOLO's position is similar to that of GREEN. CDH, MR and PS are of the opinion that Wallonia should best take over the Brussels scheme and is therefore in favor of BFOV. Like the Vlaams Belang, the Parti Popular is opposed to any form of LEZ. After 14 October, it will become clear whether steps can be taken in relation to the sustainability of the old-timer ban within the Low Emission Zones.

Different voting options

The municipal elections in Belgium are held nationally, and can be categorized as follows. The Belgian voter can cast his / her vote for the city councils (all of Belgium), the provincial councils (Flanders and Wallonia), the city of Antwerp (district councils) and the six Flemish peripheral municipalities with language facilities around Brussels. Finally, votes can be cast for a few municipalities with facilities, for the aldermen (public administrators at local level), and the OCMW councils.

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