21/11/2011

Kennedy Wants Car Drivers To Take The Bus

Car drivers are again being urged to go 'on the buses' as the NI Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy announces next week's opening of another new bus lane - this time on the Shankill Road in Belfast - while other Belfast bus lanes opened today.

New bus lanes in north Belfast's Shore Road, York Road, York Street, and on Victoria Street in central Belfast all went into operation today.

On the Shore Road, York Road and York Street the bus lanes give priority to buses between Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle to Mount Vernon Road and North Derby Street to Midland Terrace inbound between 7.30am - 9.30am Monday to Friday and Midland Terrace to North Queen Street and Mount Vernon Road to Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle outbound operating Monday-Friday 3.30pm-6.30pm.

The bus lane on Victoria Street will give priority to buses between Chichester Street and Queen's Square from 7.00am -7.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

Minister Kennedy said: "Each new measure that supports our bus services helps to promote public transport as an attractive alternative to travel by private car.

"This additional four kilometres of bus lanes will bring the total length of bus lanes in Belfast to 46 km and will benefit the increasing number of bus travellers on these routes who will now have a more reliable service."

On the Shankill Road initiative, the Minister said: "This new bus lane will save time for bus passengers during their journey.
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"This additional 1.3 kilometres of bus lane will bring the total length of bus lanes in Belfast to over 47 kilometres. The increasing number of bus travellers on the route will now have a more reliable service because of this dedicated bus lane," he said.

The city bound bus lane will become operational next week, on Monday 28 November, and will give priority to buses between Lanark Way and Peters Hill from 7.30am - 9.30am, Monday to Friday.

The bus lane shall benefit approximately 14 Metro services/550 passengers per hour.

The bus lane will be available to buses, cycles, motorcycles and Belfast public hire taxis. It shall be clearly marked with white lines and associated signs.

The Ulster Unionist Executive Minister said: "Any improvement in public transport should encourage more people to use the many services available.

"Cars continue to cause congestion and pollution and it is in everyone's interest to have less cars on the road. Whilst it may not suit everyone to use a bus or train daily, every effort is important, even if that means choosing to travel to work once a week using public transport.

"Travelling on the bus or train is an ideal way to travel. It cuts down on fuel costs and driver frustration. It can be relaxing while you read or listen to music instead of being stuck in rush hour traffic.

"I strongly encourage people working in all sectors to explore more sustainable ways of making their journey to work," he added.

"It would be great to see more people using the variety of travel options available like public transport, car sharing, using a park and ride/share facility, walking and cycling.

"Don't forget - by reducing car use all of us can become fitter and healthier."

(BMcC/GK)

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