LAR - sortie autoroute

Social seat
Menen Town Hall

Secretariat Bitlar cv
Grote Markt 1
B-8930 Menen
T +32 (0)475 - 21 38 61

Origin of the Transport Centre LAR

As was often the case in many medium-sized cities, freight transport and transfer in Courtray were formerly centralized in the city centre (Kortrijk-Weide, Magdalenastraat). The former customs house with its offices and public warehouse were built in 1954.

More and more forwarding and customs agents took up their residence there, which of course increased the amount of traffic in the city centre. In the meanwhile containerization gained popularity everywhere in the world.

During the late sixties the idea gained ground, stimulated by ex-minister A. De Clerck, founder-president of the Intermunicipal Organization Leiedal, and by the Courtray Burgomaster I. J. Lambrecht, to build a container terminal not in the centre of Courtray but near the intersection of the railway Courtray-Lille and the motorway E3 under construction. The N.M.B.S. (National Railway Company of Belgium) supported this way of thinking: the project, a fixed international container terminal, would become part of a "transport zone".

In cooperation with the border communities Lauwe, Aalbeke and Rekkem (of which the first letters form the name of the International Transport Centre LAR), the Intermunicipal Organization Leiedal drew up a BPA (special master plan) for the "Industrial Area LAR", which was ratified by Royal Decree on 19.11.1971.

The intention was:

Partly in consultation with companies of the transport and forwarding sector the plans were elaborated. The realization of the project was postponed repeatedly due to external factors (energy crisis of 1973, subsidy problems, etc.).

In January 1977 the Ministerial Committee for Flemish Affairs (MCVA) decided to subsidize the LAR infrastructure. From 1978, the infrastructure works were executed in several stages, and in 1982 the City of Menen decided to build the customs house and the public warehouse.

So that the activities at LAR might start as soon as possible, the Municipality of Menen, together with Leiedal, erected a building to provide provisional accommodation for the customs office, six customs agents and a cafeteria. (This building was pulled down in 1985, when the new buildings were brought into use.)

On February 1, 1984 the activities at LAR started.