Please if anyone can help it would be excellent! I know very little about the roads, just that the ring road around Brussels is very busy. If I choose to live in Ghent and commute to Waterloo, can that avoid such busy roads? If so how long would it take?
So you are talking about morning-traffic(-jams)? From own experiences (glad I only do this once a month) I can tell you about driving from Ghent (to Zaventem-area, Waterloo is further "down the road")...
From Ghent to Waterloo you can go north around Brussels or South. Distance is almost equal. I guess South may be a little faster (smaller jams), but it will vary from day to day (accidents and so on).
If leaving between 7am and 8am in the moring it will take about 1.5 to 2 hours on a "normal" morning. Occasionally it may be down to 1 hour (holiday, exceptional low traffic, ...) but on difficult days it can go up to 3 hours (and more, about once a week).
I guess that coming from Antwerpen you might be about 15-30 minutes faster (again depending on traffic-jams/accicents). But you will have to take the north-route.
Remark: route-planners estimate timings 56 minutes from Ghent; 46 minutes from Antwerp.
If you don't plan to stay in Brussels (leaving Brussels before 8am is no problem), you could try to start from the Leuven-area. Also traffic jams here, but distance and chances for accidents -- by others :-) are smaller.
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