Getting around Antwerp safely on a bike or moped

Cyclists, pedestrians, moped drivers, motorists and public transport... they constantly cross each other’s path in Antwerp. And there is no reason why this shouldn't happen in a safe and pleasant manner. Have a look at our smart tips for getting around Antwerp safely by bike or moped.

Which rules apply to you?

Maximum speeds are also enforced for mopeds, e-bikes and newer e-vehicles. The following rules apply.

  • Mopeds (or scooters) are subdivided into Class A motorcycles (up to 25 km/h) and Class B motorcycles (up to 45 km/h).
  • An ordinary electric bike provides electric assistance up to 25 km/h. You may drive faster than this, in which case you must switch off the electric assistance. Ordinary electric bikes must follow the rules that apply to non-electric bikes.
  • A speedpedelec is considered the equivalent of a Class ‘P’ motorcycle. It provides electric assistance up to 45 km/h. The rules are the same as for a Class B motorcycle. You can find more information about speedpedelecs on the cycling federation’s website.
  • New electric vehicles, such as electric scooters, Segways and skateboards must follow the same rules as pedestrians (max. speed 6 km/h) or cyclists (up to 25 km/h).

What do the traffic rules say about cyclists and moped drivers?

  • Always use the cycling path. If you have an electric bike or an A class moped, then check the traffic signs here
  • Class B mopeds or speedpedelecs must also use the cycling path on roads where the maximum speed exceeds 50 km/h.
    • On other roads, you may choose where to drive, unless the road signs indicate that you may not use this road. Check the road sign for the letter ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘P’ to see whether the restriction applies to you.
    • You may not drive in parks or on combined cycling paths/pavements
  • Bicycles with 3 or 4 wheels (such as cargo bikes or adapted bikes for people with disabilities) that are wider than 1 metre may not be used in certain places in the city, such as:
    • school streets
    • pedestrianised areas
    • when riding against traffic in a one-way street (where allowed).
    • only in zones for local traffic where cyclists are allowed to ride. If your 3 or 4-wheel bike is not wider than 1 metre, then you can ride anywhere where other cyclists are permitted to ride.
  • You must walk alongside your motorcycle in the pedestrian tunnel.
  • Children under 10 years of age may ride their bicycles on the pavement and on raised verges if the diameter of their bike’s wheels does not exceed 50 cm – tires not included. Make sure they do not hinder other road users.
  • In bicycle streets you may occupy the entire width of the road in a one-way street, you must share the road in a two-way street. You have priority over cars in bicycle streets, which may not exceed a maximum speed of 30 km/h.
  • Always ride in the right direction. You may only ride in both directions if this is indicated on the cycling path, with arrows in both directions.
  • Give priority to pedestrians who are crossing at a zebra crossing. If you get off your bike and walk alongside your bike, you also have priority at zebra crossings. You do not have priority while cycling on a zebra crossing.

How to drive?

  • Cyclists may ride alongside one another on the road as long as other road users can pass them. You may always ride alongside one another on a cycling path without causing an obstruction for other cyclists.
  • You may not use your mobile phone while cycling.
  • You must always keep your hands on your handlebar and your feet on the pedals or the toe board.
  • You may not be pulled by a motorcycle.
  • Wearing a helmet is compulsory for Class B motorcycles and speedpedelecs.

 

Smart cyclists and moped users always stay safe.

Before hopping on your bike

  • Map a safe route beforehand. Use the Antwerp cycling map for this.
  • Check whether there are any roadworks en route. Always follow the signposted diversion in case of roadworks.
  • Remember to check your bike to enjoy a hassle-free experience. Check your reflectors, lights, brakes and tire pressure regularly.
  • A helmet reduces the risk of serious injuries should you fall.
  • Hi-viz vests or accessories will only make you more visible, especially at night or in bad weather conditions.
  • Be careful in wet weather or freezing conditions, especially when driving an e-vehicle. Watch out for slippery roads, and leaves on the road and brake carefully.

Always think of the other road users

  • Park your bike in the designated bike sheds or bike racks where possible. Always make sure not to block the road or the pavement.

  • Pass other cyclists on the left. Warn them by ringing your bell. Give faster cyclists a chance to pass you.
  • When waiting at a red light, make sure you don’t block the cycling path for cyclists coming from the other direction.
  • All cyclists and pedestrians can cross at the same time at intersections where all the traffic lights turn green for them at the same time (green square). So do make way for cyclists coming from the other side.
  • Cyclists may only turn right on red when a special indicator flashes. Such an indicator has yet to be installed in Antwerp.
  • Keep an eye out for passengers who are getting off trams and buses at public transport stops. Passengers always have priority when getting off a tram or bus when there is no separate platform.
  • Speedpedelecs or motorcycles are much faster than other cyclists. As a result, you may surprise motorists. Look out for cars that are about to turn off. Slow down when approaching an intersection.
  • Stop or indicate your direction with your arm before turning. This allows other road users to see where you are going.
  • A driver can’t see you when you are riding in the blind spot of a lorry or bus. Always keep your distance.
  • Always stop at a level crossing. Wait until the red signal stops to start riding again.

By moped or on an e-bike? Always remember:

  • You may not ride your speed pedelec or moped in parks.

  • Don’t let anyone cling on to you while you are riding your e-bike or moped.

  • Get off your moped in the pedestrian tunnel.

  • Stick to the maximum speed and adapt your speed to the situation.