New survey points to way to solve Belgium’s mobility budget crisis

19 May 2017

19 May 2017 A new survey from ALD, the largest leasing company in Belgium, highlights there may be a middle way to solve Belgium’s flawed mobility budget, which has been heavily criticised by all Belgium’s auto industry organisations. Firstly, 76% of the 271 company car drivers surveyed said they did not want to trade in their company car. This suggests that attempts to persuade them to ditch them (as had been thought necessary to improve congestion) will be met with strong resistance, and so will probably fail. Therefore, this is likely to be the case with either the new cash ′bribe’ system, or with a ′mobility quota card’ system, which was the original plan for the mobility budget. However, significantly, half of this reluctant group (49%) also said they would be happy to use mobility services in addition to their company car. Within the minority (24%) who were prepared to exchange their company car for cash, a majority of these (51%) were also willing to consider this compromise of mixing use of their company car with mobility services. 18% of these said they already did so. This suggests there could be a far more effective way to reduce congestion on Belgium’s roads. It paints a clear picture that Belgium company car drivers are willing to consider mobility services, but that the current antipodal assumption that encouraging use of mobility services must require drivers to give up their company cars is flawed. It suggests that a much more flexible approach would be the right one. Offer people encouragements to use mobility services rather than encourage them to give up the alternative (carrot rather than stick). This could be a quota of free or reduced cost mobility services. Once people get used to using them, they will start to see the advantages, for example not having to find somewhere to park, or being able to work or relax while travelling. It is then up to the mobility services to provide a high quality of service to encourage high and sustained uptake, building the mobility revolution. And helping to solve Belgium’s congestion and air pollution concerns in the process. ALD is so convinced it is on to something that it has commissioned a major study with market research firm GfK to poll an extensive 30,000 Belgian drivers. This will not only bolster its existing findings with a vast sample size, but go deeper into the roots of the issue to get a clearer picture about the thoughts and needs of the drivers, and ultimately their mobility behaviour – what kinds of mobility solutions will work best for them. This could give ALD the evidence it needs to convince the Belgian government to think again on its mobility plans.

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