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16/02/2017

Taxis To Be Permitted To Use Bus Lanes

Taxis will be permitted to use bus lanes on the Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) routes from next Monday, 20 February.

The 12-week trial basis will apply to the bus lanes on the East and West Belfast Rapid Transit routes and the 12 hour bus lanes in the city centre, which link the two routes.

The Department for Infrastructure's aim is to balance and respect the needs of all road users.

The Department will assess the impact of the taxis on the operation of the bus lanes during the trial period. This will include the safety of bus lane users, as well as the impact on journey times, vehicle speeds and volumes. The Department will also invite stakeholders to provide their views before reaching a decision on the long term access arrangements for taxis in bus lanes.
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West Belfast MP Paul Maskey welcomed the announcement.

He said: "I have been contacted over the past few months on numerous occasions by taxi drivers to voice their frustration at being excluded from bus lanes.

"The drivers were strongly of the opinion that the exclusion of taxis from bus lanes was damaging their industry. They have been finding it increasingly difficult to earn a sufficient wage, particularly those drivers who work during mornings and early evenings.

"I made representations to the minister asking him to consider the concerns of taxi drivers with a view to a trial allowing taxis into bus lanes and which would assess the impact of those taxis on the operation of the bus lanes.

"I welcome this announcement by the minister and I will continue to work to ensure that balance is given to all road users and industries."

(CD)

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