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Belfast City Hall to grill roads minister over much-maligned bus lanes

By Rebecca Black

Published 01/02/2016

A Stormont minister may be summoned to Belfast City Hall to face questions over bus lanes
A Stormont minister may be summoned to Belfast City Hall to face questions over bus lanes

A Stormont minister may be summoned to Belfast City Hall to face questions over bus lanes.

There are more than 60 bus lanes across Belfast, covering 30 miles. They were introduced in 2012 as part of the Belfast on the Move traffic plan, and the scheme was expanded last year.

At tonight's meeting of Belfast City Council, SDLP councillor Declan Boyle is set to propose that it should invite Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen to City Hall to hear their concerns.

He will propose that the senior management team from Transport NI also comes before the council's City Growth and Regeneration committee to answer questions about the bus lanes and bus lane cameras and hear about the concerns of motorists, commuters and local businesses.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed last year that the lanes brought in a staggering £1m in just three months. The number of penalties issued since a controversial crackdown began last June had passed 20,000 by October.

One camera near the City Hall has snapped more than 8,500 drivers and figures obtained by this newspaper show that from June 22 to September 30, a total of 21,772 fines were issued.

Based on a minimum £45 fine, the cameras will have scooped at least £979,740.

The most prolific was Donegall Square East, with 8,511 penalties; next was Castle Street (6,017); Great Victoria Street (4,935); College Square East (568); East Bridge Street (495 penalties), and Falls Road (334).

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