Gemeente Maastricht hasn't received any reimbursement of tram funds and issues ultimatum

The Gemeente has still not heard anything from the Flemish representatives of the Belgian government about the settlement of the tram project. Maastricht incurred €22.6 million in costs and is demanding it back. The municipality is now issuing an ultimatum.

Wethouder John Aarts announced this in a letter to the council.

Satisfactory response

The ultimatum is yet another chapter in the tram project and means that the Gemeente wants a 'satisfactory answer' from the Belgian governement before 1 July this year. If this does not happen, "we are left with no option but to close this project in another way," the wethouder writes.

Nothing heard

After the Gemeente demanded the €22.6 million from the Belgian government, Flemish Minister Peeters launched a financial investigation. Gemeente Maastricht cooperated in this. Nothing has subsequently been heard about the results of this investigation.

At the moment, according to the municipality, there are no constructive proposals from the Flemish side, the alderman concluded after signals from the lawyers on the Flemish side.

Almost 20 years of headaches

The tram project has been around for almost 20 years and in that time it has grown into a headache. The idea for the tram line comes from Belgian public transport company De Lijn's 'Spartacus plan'. They had a vision at the beginning of this century with various bus connections combined with bicycle and car connections. The Dutch province of Limburg was invited by the Flemish government to participate in this plan.

The first cracks in the ambitious plan arose when problems arose at the Wilhelminabrug in Maastricht, causing the tram to end up at Mosae Forum rather than the train station. Maastricht earlier made €3 million to the Belgians in compensation. Later a problem also arose in Hasselt in Belgian Limburg where the tram would also not be able to reach the station.

Eventually, the Belgian government decided to stop the project in May 2022, now a year ago.

The minister responsible, Minister Peeters of Flanders, has not responded to questions from RTV Maastricht for several months.