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Scheme to allow private taxis to use bus lanes criticised

Private taxis will soon be allowed to use bus lanes in Belfast as part of a new transport scheme. Picture by Aidan o'Reilly.
Marie Louise McConville

A decision to allow private taxis to use bus lanes around parts of Belfast, as part of a 12-week trial, has been criticised as a "setback for cycling in the city".

Sustainable transport charity, Sustrans said it was "extremely disappointed" by the move by the Department for Infrastructure.

The department announced yesterday that from Monday Class A taxis and any of the remaining taxis still licensed as Private Hire, which operate under green plates, and Public Hire taxis, which operate under white plates, will be allowed to use the bus lanes along the Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) routes.

The trial 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.

However, transport charity, Sustrans voiced concerns at the trial scheme.

"This decision has been made at very short notice, without a period of consultation or indeed reasonable advanced notice to all those who currently use bus lanes. Decisions, such as this, made in haste, often fail to properly consider all the consequences and create more problems than they solve".

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