Guideline to accessibility in Belgium

Guideline to accessibility in Belgium

2017-05-02 by Szandra Koroknai

In this article you can find an overview of information about accessible travel in Belgium.

Travelling by train

Belgianrail (SNCB) offers an assistance system for their passengers with a disability that helps to solve accessibility issues in stations and on the platforms. When the travelling time is known, personalised assistance can be booked 24 hours in advance. It is a free service and it is available 7 days a week, from the first to the last train of the day, in 114 stations.

You can plan your journey on the website of Belgian Rail. You can download the SNCB application on your phone as well.

Contact details SNCB

At least 24 hours before your scheduled departure:

7 days a week from 7:00 am to 9:30 pm.

Via the booking form on the website.

Be specific about what kind of assistance do you need at the railway station. It is also advised to buy your ticket after you have booked assistance.

You need to arrive at least 20 minutes before departure. The assistance staff will help you with getting to the platform and getting on board. The staff will wait for you at your destination to help getting of the train, finding the exit or taking another train.

Available services

Discounts and free travel

You can obtain a Discount Card from your local council when you are blind or partially sighted. This card provides you free travel option on the 2nd class.

If you are travelling with your caregiver, he or she can obtain a Carer Card that allows the carer to travel for free. The carer must travel in the same comfort class on the same journey as the reduced mobility passenger.

Thalys train from Amsterdam or Paris to Brussels Midi

From Amsterdam to Brussels Midi or from Brussels Midi to Amsterdam, people can travel with the Thalys. The tickets can be booked with Thalys direclty. Accessible Travel Netherlands can also help you with bookings tickets, wheelchair seats and assistances for the Thalys.

STIB – accessible public transport

STIB is a public transport cooperation that provides adapted transport solutions to people with reduced mobility. Visit the website.

Free transport tickets

STIB provides free transport tickets for:

Click here for more information.

Travelling by metro

Metro stations are equipped with elevators and there is an assistance staff to provide help with crossing the station platforms and getting on the metro trains. This service is free of charge and available from Monday to Sunday from 7.00 AM to 10.00 PM.

Contact details for metro

Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM; on Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM Online

Via the booking form on the website.

You can also ask for assistance without giving notice by pressing on the button at the contact terminals. In this case, the staff will serve you within one hour

Travelling by bus (AccessiBus)

The STIB buses have a low-level floor, wide doors and most of them have a space reserved for wheelchair-users. There is a signalisation system that gives the access degree of the bus stops of certain lines. The blue logo means that the boarding and alighting happen autonomously. The orange logo means that the help of a person might be necessary. If there is no logo, the stop is not accessible.

AccessiBus lines

48 Decroly - Grand Place (Grote Markt)

59 Bordet Station - Etterbeek-Elsene (Etterbeek-Ixelles)

71 De Brouckere - Delta

79 Schuman - Kraainem

84 Berchem Station - Heysel (Heizel)

95 Grand Place (Grote Markt) - Wiener

Travelling by TaxiBus

Taxibus is a door to door transport service for people with a disability. It is a collective service, meaning it picks up and drops off other passenger too while you travel with them.

It is available from Monday to Saturday, except on public holidays. From 5 AM to 1 AM.

This service is for people who have a certificate by the Federal Public Service Social Security and recognizing one of the following elements:

The certificate can be requested on the following address:

Direction générale Personnes handicapées

Service Attestations

Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 50, boîte 150

1000 Bruxelles

Phone number: 0800 987 99

The rate of a journey is 1,70 € and it needs to be paid by bank transfer in advance.

Contact details TaxiBus

It is advised to make the reservation as soon as possible.

02 515 23 65 (from Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM; on Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM).

Via personal account on www.taxibus.be

Accessible stays in Belgium

Brussel

Brussel is the capital city of Belgium and is famous for its delicious waffles, delicate chocolate and the tiny statue of the famous “Manneken Pis”. Stay in a 3- or 4-star hotel located in the city center of Brussels close to all the famous sights. These accommodations have wheelchair accessible rooms with adapted bathrooms. Read more.

Bruges

Bruges is a charming, historic town in Belgium that is worth to visit for a short break. Stay in a 3- or 4-star hotel in the city center. The hotel entrance is equiped with a ramp. In the hotel there is an elevator of at least 78 cm wide. All the rooms have a big enough circulation space and the bathrooms are fully adapted. Read more.

Antwerp

Antwerp is the second biggest city of Belgium and famous for the Diamond Quarter where thousands for diamond cutters and polishers are working and about 85% of the world’s rough diamonds are traded here. Stay in a holiday house in a green park, only 15 minutes from the city. These houses are fully accessible with adapted bathroom and kitchen, spacious interior and wide doors. You can enjoy being outside on the terrace or in the garden. Read more.

Please contact Accessible Travel Netherlands to book one of these accommodations. You can also add a guided city tour and discover the famous sights, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. For more information, click here.

Accessibility brochures Visit Flanders

A lot of information about accessibility including brochures of Flanders can be found here. Download the following brochures on this link:

Photo: Carlos Andres Reyes

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Szandra Koroknai


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