Area around Royers lock made safer for cyclists

Publication date: 
07 Feb 2018

Antwerp Port Authority is due to begin work on 15 February on improvements to the area around the Royers lock, in order to make it more bicycle-friendly. The Royers lock has long been regarded by cyclists as a "black spot" due to among other things the narrow cycle tracks over the Royers bridge and the dangerous crossings with car traffic. Various measures are now being taken to improve this situation. The planned work will have an impact on operation of the Royers lock, which will be closed to shipping traffic for a period of two months.

Bicycles and car traffic will be separated

Various structural improvements will be made to the bicycle infrastructure on and around the Royers lock. The cycle tracks are being resurfaced and given new markings, and a new connection is being built between the Lefebvre bridge and the Letlandstraat road. Additional traffic lights are being installed at the crossing between the Lefebvre bridge and the Siberiastraat road in order to make it safer for cyclists. Moreover, changes are being made to traffic over the Royers lock so that cyclists always have their own lane over the Lefebvre and and Royers bridges.

When the Royers lock is in operation, all traffic will have to cross over the same lock gate but there will be a separate lane for cyclists. Road traffic northwards over the lock (towards the port) and southwards (towards the city) will flow alternately in either direction, thanks to dynamic traffic signals. This will mean that cyclists and car traffic will cross each other less frequently, making it safer for cyclists.

Royers lock in operation


 

Royers lock closed


To permit the work to be carried out the Royers lock will be out of operation for two months starting on 15 February.

Download the traffic situation plan

 

Impact for barges

The temporary closure of the Royers lock will of course have an impact on shipping, in particular barges that have to use the other lock complexes in the port. During the next few months it will become clearer what role the Royers lock will continue to play in the overall barge situation in the port of Antwerp. 

The future of the Royers lock

Renovation of the Royers lock has been planned for a long time, but the cost of this work has risen considerably in the past few years. The Port Authority therefore intends to carry out an intensive traffic census before and after the work, in order to obtain a better view of the actual use made of the Royers and other locks. Car and cycle traffic in the area around the Royers lock will also be continuously measured.

Better figures on the actual use of the lock and a survey of the future requirements of barge traffic are all relevant elements that will be taken into consideration in order to arrive at the best possible decision concerning the future of the Royers lock which is now 110 years old.

The Port Authority will hold further consultations on this subject with the various parties concerned during the next few months.