Major works on roads into Belfast centre will be halted to help Christmas trade
Roadworks on key routes into Belfast city centre are to be stopped as part of an initiative to boost Christmas trade.
A transport incentives package that includes reduced public transport fares and extended park and ride schemes was also announced by Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.
It is hoped the move will improve traffic flow and encourage more shoppers into the city over the festive season.
Mr Hazzard said: "As towns and cities across the north prepare for the busy Christmas period, I am keen to do what I can to support local businesses and provide shoppers with a range of public transport options that meet their needs, while keeping the traffic moving.
"The roadworks embargo has been ongoing for number of years and I am grateful to all the utilities involved for their continued support with this highly successful initiative."
Last year, 1,500 free car parking spaces were made available by Belfast City Council.
But councillors voted against the offering this year after claims from Translink that it caused congestion.
Mr Hazzard said: "I also would like to welcome the council's decision to maintain car parking charges at the current level and I believe combined, all of these measures will help ensure smoother traffic flow around the city and a better experience for traders and shoppers alike."
The roadworks embargo for all non-essential work on key routes will run from November 28 to January 3 2017.
Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston said: "It is vital that the expected crowds are able to navigate the city freely and easily which is why we are working with our partners to ensure a good choice of transport options for everyone in Belfast during this period."