Northern Ireland

Belfast bus lanes: Plan to extend times on busy routes

Bus lane
Image caption Bus lanes currently operate from 07:30 until 09:30 and from 15:30 until 18:30 in Belfast

Transport Minister Chris Hazzard is proposing to extend the times of bus lanes on some of Belfast's busiest commuting routes.

The proposal concerns routes that make up the Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) plan.

Currently bus lanes in Belfast run from 07:30 until 09:30 and from 15:30 until 18:30. Under the proposals this would be extended from 07:00 to 19:00.

The project is due to come into operation in September 2018.

"We should remember in 2012 the business case for the Belfast Rapid Transit was built upon the concept that these would be 12-hour, seven-to-seven bus lane priorities," said Mr Hazzard.

"That is so we can have maximum compliance and avoid confusion."

Belfast Rapid Transit routes

West Belfast

  • Between the city centre and Dunmurry Industrial Estate via Divis Street, Falls Road, Andersonstown Road, Stewartstown Road and a new transport hub at Colin Town Centre.

East Belfast

  • Between the city centre and the Park and Ride at Dunlady Road, Dundonald via the Albertbridge Road and Upper Newtownards Road.

Titanic Quarter

  • From the city centre, via Queen Elizabeth Bridge, along Queen's Quay and Queen's Road to Titanic Quarter, returning via Queen's Road, Queen's Quay, Station Street, Bridge End and Queen's Bridge.

Mr Hazzard said there would be two rounds of consultation on the proposals and said there could be some room for flexibility.

"What we can do and looking at other cities - Dublin for example - we may have loading and unloading windows and drop-off and pick-up times, where you have windows into that," he said.

"This is through consultation with those commuters, with those stakeholders and the community along the route so we can design our proposals and then go to a formal consultation period after."

He added: "These buses and vehicles will be coming across every seven minutes in and out of the city, it's so, so important that we get this right."

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