The branch leading off the F3 cycle highway between Brussels and Leuven to Brussels Airport is ready for use. Thanks to this new branch, employees, local residents and passengers who travel light can reach the airport by bike in a safe, fast and sustainable way. The realisation of this cycle path is a collaboration between the Flemish Region, the province of Flemish Brabant, the municipality of Zaventem and Brussels Airport Company.
Brussels Airport is now connected to the F3 Leuven-Brussels cycle highway with a new strategic branch. The F3 is one of the main cycle highways in Flemish Brabant and part of the FietsGEN (regional express cycle path network) between Flanders and Brussels. The excavation works to build this cycle path started on 1 September last year, and in March the necessary signs were put up and markings painted, and the project was completed. The branch connecting the airport with the cycle highway is 1.8 kilometres long and 3.5 metres wide and largely lies on the bed of the former railway track. 66 lighting poles ensure safe cycling day and night. For visitors, employees and passengers alike, there are bicycle parking spaces at the airport, with charging stations for electric bicycles.
On the east side, the new cycle path, also known as S-bend because of its shape, connects to cycle highway F3 east of the junction of Martinusweg and Nossegemwegje. On the west side, the branch connects to a new project by the municipality of Zaventem to improve the current unpaved path that longs the Zaventem cemetery, which then connects to Kerkhoflaan. On the north side, there is a connection to the A201 Leopoldlaan near the Heidestraat, giving cyclists access to the airport. This project is a collaboration between Brussels Airport, the Flemish Government, the province of Flemish Brabant and the municipality of Zaventem. Brussels Airport was in charge of the execution of the works.
Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport: “Smart mobility is extremely important for the airport. Not only do we ensure the safe movement of aircraft, but we are also an important hub for public transport and are committed to being a bicycle-friendly airport. With this branch, we want to encourage all those who work at the airport, local residents and also passengers who travel lightly, to take their bike more often. In normal times, about 100,000 people come to the airport every day. With this connection, coming to the airport by bike is now even more comfortable and safer.”
Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters: “With safe and comfortable bicycle infrastructure, including cycle highways, we want to encourage even more people to choose the bike. Especially for functional trips and commuting, cycle highways play an important role. With the new bicycle connection between Brussels Airport and the F3 cycle highway, we want to stimulate bicycle trips in the region. For the realisation of this project, Flanders granted a subsidy of 513,795.58 euros to Brussels Airport Company. Through cooperation like this, we can accelerate the improvement of our cycling infrastructure and create important missing links, with one goal: stimulating the cycling reflex in everyone.”
Tom Dehaene, Commissioner for Mobility, Province of Flemish Brabant: “The F3 cycle highway is a busy commuter route that we are connecting via this S-bend directly to the airport, an important employer in our region. In this way, we considerably increase the potential of the F3 and hope to convince both employees and travellers to use the bicycle to travel to the airport. This is not only healthy, but also good for the environment. This project is therefore a good example of how different policy levels, together with employers, can make mobility in our region more sustainable.”
Mayor of Zaventem Ingrid Holemans: “The number of inhabitants in the municipality of Zaventem is systematically increasing, as are the employment opportunities in the airport area, which means that the number of movements is also rising. To continue to guarantee accessibility and quality of life in our municipality, we decided to develop a cycling culture in Zaventem. We are creating more and more bicycle priority streets in the streetscape and we are investing in new bicycle facilities and awareness campaigns. This legislature will see the construction of almost 30 km of new cycle paths in Zaventem. The implementation of the S-bend fits perfectly within the current strategy of the municipality of Zaventem to further develop a safe and comfortable cycle path network!”