Stormont Minister Arlene Foster's call for motorists to be able to use bus lanes in Belfast at weekends has been branded a non-starter.
The DUP Enterprise and Trade chief argued the move would help throw a lifeline to hard-pressed shop owners facing a major drop-off in trade.
She told the Assembly she has written to Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy to see if the proposal is practical.
But yesterday the Alliance Party said her comments revealed the lack of 'joined-up' government and could undermine the policy to boost the use of bus lanes.
Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said it was "a non-starter".
"If we are to encourage more people to get out of their car and use public transport we must continue to provide services such as bus lanes," he said.
Mrs Foster said that she had not yet heard back from the Ulster Unionist minister on her proposal.