During a meeting between the NMBS, the province of West Flanders and Tommelein, measures were proposed that the transport company will take in the very short term and which should make traveling by train more corona-friendly. The consultation did not yield anything for the mayor. ‘SNCB is casual, they have no plan. And that is how they create new corona growth sources, ‘says Tommelein.
On Tuesday morning, the SNCB spokesperson explained the proposals on Radio 1. For example, SNCB will post from large signs outside the station to provide information to travelers, and also communicate via social media about the traffic on the trains. “There is also an obligation to wear a mouth mask,” said the spokesperson. “We also ask travelers to spread the use of the train.”
Tommelein also asked for a reservation system, but NMBS is still examining whether this is technically feasible. ‘Of course there are also advantages and disadvantages to that system that you have to look at. You must remember that flexibility is one of the reasons people take the train: you can take the train at any time. ”
According to Crols, the NMBS is also extra committed to capacity ‘network to be able to transport people in safe conditions’. From Wednesday she wants to send ten extra trains a day to the coast. Tommelein does not want extra trains to the coast before there is a reservation system, but according to Crols ‘fewer trains means more people on a train’.
That reasoning frustrates Tommelein immensely. “They send tens of thousands of people a day to the sea, but they have no way of knowing who they are, where they come from, how and when they return. They are creating new corona fireplaces, and I don’t want to take any responsibility for that: I don’t want those trains. ” He has submitted his complaint to the West Flemish governor Anne Martens.
Last Friday, chaos arose in the Ostend station when hundreds of people had to wait packed for a train.