New bus lanes on the way for Belfast motorists
Belfast is to get new bus lanes under proposals announced by the Department of Infrastructure.
A consultation has been announced for new lanes in the east of the city.
Proposals are for new bus lanes to run along the Albertbridge Road between Castlereagh Street and the Newtownards Road.
They are planned as part of the Belfast Rapid Transit project set to roll out in 2018 and are an addition to the exiting lane already in the area.
If they get the green light, they will operate between Monday and Friday between 7.30am and 9.30am in the morning toward the city and from 3.30pm to 6.30pm in the afternoon on the country-bound side.
They will run for almost 250metres combined.
As well as buses, cycles, motorbikes and certain taxis will be allowed to use the lanes during their operation.
Bus lane cameras will also be placed along the route to catch those drivers using the lanes.
Already the Newtownards Road has had new bus lanes introduced as part of the rapid transit system.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Translink chief executive Chris Conway said the new transport system would give a very high frequency service with customers able to get a so-called 'bus-tram' every seven minutes.
A Department of Infrastructure spokeswoman said: "The Notice of Intention published by the Department today relates to bus lanes on the Albertbridge Road between Castlereagh Street and Newtownards Road. This is part of the Department’s Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) project. The BRT works will retain the existing bus lanes on this section of the BRT route and introduce new sections of bus lane as follows:
- Country-bound between Mountpottinger Road and Templemore Avenue (approximately 100m of bus lane)
- Country bound on the approach to the Newtownards Road junction (approximately 85m of bus lane)
- City-bound on the approach to Templemore Avenue (approximately 25m of bus lane)
- City-bound on the approach to Stormount Street (approximately 35m of bus lane)
"The bus lanes on this section of the BRT route will provide priority for the BRT services when they become operational in September 2018.
"In advance of BRT becoming operational they will provide benefits for existing public transport services on this busy arterial route into Belfast."
The public can have their say on the consultation up until October 22.