Brussels, Belgium. The peaceful routine of Brussels was abruptly disturbed on Monday morning when farmers took to the streets in a protest that caused significant road closures. The mobilization of farmers in response to grievances has resulted in considerable disruptions across the country’s road network particularly at the entrance to Brussels according to a report from the federal road police.
By 9;00 AM blockages were reported on the ring of Brussels at Ruisbroek heading towards Waterloo. Traffic slowed down significantly with only the emergency lane remaining passable.
The traffic problems persisted on both the outer rings near Hal as farmers continued their blockade. This led commuters to experience delays of up to an hour due to resulting traffic jams. The Flemish Traffic Center (Verkeerscentrum) advised people to avoid the area if possible emphasizing the severity of the disruption.
Katrien Kiekens from the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer) highlighted how accessing the ring from E429 coming from Tournai had become “extremely challenging” due, to this situation.
The farmer’s protest in Belgium has led to a blockade at Hal situated in the Flemish Brabant region. This demonstration forms part of a movement by farmers across the northern roads of the country.
Guillaume Van Binst, who serves as the Secretary General of the Young Farmers Federation (FJA) announced that the blockade on the E19 at Hal would continue until the end of today. The protest began around 11;30 PM on Sunday. Farmers have started rotating shifts since early Monday. Van Binst explained that whether or not they continue depends on how their demands are addressed, implying that negotiations will determine if the protest extends further.
In Walloon Brabant province traffic was disrupted as authorities closed off the A7/E19 highway towards Brussels at Haut Ittre. A diversion has been instituted via the ring towards Zaventem. Additionally, tractors made their way into Brussels itself significantly raising awareness and visibility for this protest movement.
The unrest was not limited to Brussels alone. In the province, a convoy of tractors caused disruptions at Daussoulx exchange—a major motorway junction—bringing traffic to a halt on A4 E411 towards Brussels. Similar blockades and diversions were reported in other provinces including Luxembourg and Hainaut where tractors formed blockades at critical points such as border posts, with France.
The protests happening over the country highlight just how deeply the agricultural community feels about their grievances and their strong desire to be heard. Throughout the day as the blockade continues, its effects are being felt across Belgium. It’s not only commuters who are affected but also everyone engaged in discussions, about agricultural policies.
While negotiations are ongoing and the farmers remain determined the entire nation is anxiously waiting for a resolution that can alleviate tensions and restore the road network.