Northern Ireland news

PSNI defends response to Belfast traffic chaos

The traffic chaos on the Westlink in Belfast on Tuesday night. Picture by Alan Lewis, Photopress
Gareth McKeown

POLICE have defended their response to traffic chaos in Belfast on Tuesday night.

Motorists experienced long delays in and out of the city after a lorry shed its load on the Westlink at around 4pm between Grosvenor Road and Broadway.

The delays were then compounded when a lorry broke down on the same route near Grosvenor Road at around 6.45pm.

It came as people were travelling to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland play Croatia and the SSE Arena where Rod Stewart was in concert.

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong called on infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard to state how many staff were manning cameras controlling traffic flow during the delays.

“Once again we have seen commuter chaos following what in most other cities would be an incident that would be cleared and removed, with traffic returning to normal soon after. However, Belfast ground to a halt once more," she said.

Roads Policing Inspector Rosie Leech last night said the route was "fully re-opened as soon as it was safe to do so".

“When an incident interrupts the flow of traffic on a major arterial route there will always be difficulties for the ordinary road network accommodating such a large number of displaced vehicles," she said.

“We understand fully the frustration of the motoring public at recent traffic difficulties and we will continue to work with our partner agencies in a coordinated approach to implement coping mechanisms aimed at dealing with such occurrences."

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