New bus lanes in Belfast are to operate from next week
New bus lanes will open in Belfast next week, it has been confirmed.
The lanes, along a stretch of the Upper Newtownards Road, will be introduced from Monday.
The controversial additions to one of the city's busiest commuter routes were first reported by this newspaper last Friday.
The bus lanes, located between Sandown Road and Knock Road, are part of the Belfast Rapid Transit scheme (BRT).
They will operate city-bound and country-bound from 7.30am to 9.30am and 3.30pm to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
The Department for Regional Development said the lanes would "provide improved reliability for existing bus services".
Glyn Roberts from the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association said it was likely to cause disruption in the short-term. "We have to work to try and get the implementation and roll-out of the rapid transport scheme through with the minimum of disruption," he said.