Northern Ireland news

New bus lanes during rush hour on main route into Belfast

New bus lanes are being introduced in east Belfast
Michael McHugh, Press Association

New bus lanes are to open next week on a main route into Belfast from the east of the city.

The corridors will be located on the Albertbridge Road between the Newtownards Road and Castlereagh Street.

They will operate during peak morning and evening rush hours from Monday to Friday.

A Department for Infrastructure (DfI) spokesman said: "This is another key step in the delivery of the Belfast Rapid Transit system.

"This vital infrastructure project will connect East Belfast, West Belfast and Titanic Quarter via the city centre and will help to increase the percentage of journeys which are made by public transport, a key target of the programme for government."

They will extend the previous bus lanes on the Albertbridge Road and will encourage more people to use public transport, reducing congestion on an arterial route into the city.

The spokesman added: "The new bus lanes will support a faster, more reliable bus service for people travelling along the Albertbridge Road.

"We have already seen a growing number of people switching to the bus on this key route and a modern, safe, efficient and high-quality public transport service will increase this further.

"In order that motorists will have the opportunity to get used to the new arrangements, we have introduced the bus lanes during the summer while traffic levels are traditionally lower."

New bus lanes introduced in East Belfast between Knock Road and Holywood Arches have delivered significant improvements in journey times for the thousands of passengers using bus services on this route every day, the department said, and passenger numbers have increased there by around 4.5%.

When the Belfast Rapid Transit system becomes operational next year, the route in East Belfast will run from Dundonald Park & Ride, via the Upper Newtownards Road and Albertbridge Road, to the city centre. It will continue from there through to the Colin area of West Belfast.

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Northern Ireland news