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Are you confused by these Belfast road signs?

Published 19/08/2015

A bus lane sign placed above an urban clearway sign on Belfast's Great Victoria Street
A bus lane sign placed above an urban clearway sign on Belfast's Great Victoria Street

The row over Belfast's bus lanes continues to motor on.

Fearghal McKinney MLA has criticised a city centre scheme that he says has left drivers confused and "flooding" his SDLP office to complain.

He has used the picture above of road signs on Great Victoria Street to demonstrate how "unclear signs" can result in motorists paying hefty fines.

“Since the introduction of the bus lane cameras across Belfast, constituents have flooded my office to complain about the heavy-handed approach taken by the authorities," said Mr McKinney.

"As a result, many have been hit with fines that they simply cannot afford.

“This is a serious concern especially as, in some cases, the specific times when the bus lanes applies are unclear. In Great Victoria street in Belfast, one signpost contains two signs which have led to confusion but motorists are still being fined."

The image shows a bus lane sign placed above an urban clearway sign.

As the restricted hours for the urban clearway (morning and evening rush hours) fall within the hours during which the bus lane is active, the urban clearway is made redundant.

And if that isn't enough to keep you away, there are also double yellow lines on the road.

But is it a case of too much information to take in while driving along one of the busiest city centre roads at 30mph?

Mr McKinney added: “Bus lanes were introduced to help manage traffic, to reduce journey times and to improve our public transport network and motorists accept they should drive in a responsible and respectful manner. But in return, they expect authorities to treat them in the same way and not to be slapped with a fine especially when the situation is confusing.

“The motoring public needs clarity and certainty over when it is permissible to enter bus lanes. Unclear signs do not help. In this environment I would ask the authorities to reconsider and take action to address the sources of confusion.”

The Belfast Telegraph has contacted the Department for Regional Development (DRD) for a response.

Bus lanes were introduced in Belfast in October 2012. A crackdown on drivers using the lanes began in June, with the introduction of six cameras in the city centre and a mobile detection unit.

Do you think the signs are confusing, or perfectly clear? Comment below or tweet @BelTel

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