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Sinn Féin to present amendments on Belfast Rapid Transit Route to Department for Infrastructure

3 January, 2018 - by Paul Maskey

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said the party will present two amendments to the proposals recently released by the Department for Infrastructure on the operation of the Belfast Rapid Transit Route (BRT).

The West Belfast MP said:

“Sinn Féin supports the Belfast Rapid Transit initiative as it is a significant investment locally and it is vitally important that it works for al. For that reason we are proposing two amendments to the proposals recently released by the Department for Infrastructure.

“We are firmly of the opinion that 7am to 10am and 3pm to 6.30pm from Monday to Friday is more than sufficient to cover peak times for traffic and an increased number of bus users.

“If these lanes are allowed to operate for twelve hours a day we are concerned that it will negatively affect traffic and cause longer queues in the outside lane as well as impacting negatively on local businesses based on the front of the road.

“We are calling for all taxis to be allowed into all BRT routes and all bus lanes in Belfast on a permanent basis.

“The recent twelve-week trial allowing taxis to use the BRT lanes in East and West Belfast and in the city centre was a success and helped to ease traffic on these routes. This should now be implemented across Belfast in all lanes permanently.

“All taxis are permitted to use bus lanes in many cities across Ireland, including Dublin, Limerick, Cork and also across Britain in Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham to name just a few. This should also be extended to Belfast and will help to ensure that taxi drivers’ jobs are protected.

“Sinn Féin will be putting forward these proposed amendments to the Permanent Secretary, Peter May and urging him to do what is right here for ordinary working-class taxi drivers and for the improvement of traffic in Belfast.”

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