According to a decision of the last consultation committee, from Saturday 3 to Sunday 18 April, as well as the weekend of 24 and 25, candidates for the train trip to the Coast can only sit on the seats next to a window ( children under 12 can be seated next to the accompanying adult). The measure is only valid for stations on the Coast and only for the outward journey.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD), Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) and Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo), Sophie Dutordoir questioned the committee’s decision consultation. “As emphasized on numerous occasions, the implementation of the latest decisions of the consultation committee will place SNCB in a situation which, without taking other urgent and binding measures on the part of the public authorities, risks becoming unmanageable.“, she wrote there.
“The situation observed on the ground during the last hours shows that the agreements made under the coordination of the National Crisis Center and the combined efforts undertaken so far by all parties (essentially, the forces of the order, local authorities and SNCB) are not enough to stem the influx of travelers.”
Despite all the efforts made by all parties, this situation could directly jeopardize the maintenance of public order and the safety of our travelers, our staff and the police, and not only in terms of health, warns the CEO. She sends a sort of ultimatum to the government: “Take an emergency decision aimed at: either authorizing the SNCB, if necessary and after consultation with the Crisis Center, to mobilize all of its nominal transport capacity, by lifting the restrictive measures which prevail for tourist destinations , or introduce an urgent measure of public order in order to strictly limit train travel to the Coast“.
If the government does not react favorably to one of the two requests, the boss of the SNCB waves the option of stopping traffic to the targeted destinations, “the risks to travelers and our staff would then be unacceptable”, although she says she wants to avoid this trail at all costs.
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