Belfast Telegraph

Public sector strike: Policeto suspend enforcement of Belfast bus lanes to stop road chaos

By Rebecca Black

The PSNI has announced that it will suspend the enforcement of bus lanes on Friday in anticipation of a huge increase in traffic as public transport is grounded.

No buses and trains will be running on Friday as public sector workers take to the streets to oppose cuts being imposed by Stormont in the 2015/16 budget.

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech said in response to the exceptional circumstances and the additional traffic that may be on the roads as a result of the proposed public transport strike, police will not be enforcing the bus lanes.

However, she warned this exemption does not apply where buses use the hard shoulder on the motorways.

Just one of the teachers' unions, the Irish National Teacher's Organisation (INTO), is set to strike.

However, the Department of Education has advised parents to check with their child's school ahead of Friday.

The public bodies affected by the strike action include Translink, the Education and Library Boards, Roads Service, NI Fire and Rescue Service, Housing Executive and the Ambulance Service.

Nine town centres will host rallies at lunchtime on Friday.

In Belfast a rally will start from Writer's Square at noon and march to City Hall.

Marches will also take place from Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry to Guildhall Square, Market Square in Strabane, Gaol Square in Enniskillen, Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh, the Diamond in Magherafelt, the old Post Office in Cookstown, South Tyrone Hospital in Dungannon and Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.

Ciaran Rogan of Translink issued an apology to passengers for services being suspended.

"I would like to apologise to all our passengers who will be inconvenienced by this strike action which is unfortunately beyond our control," he said.

"I think it is important to give people as much notice as possible in order that they may make alternative arrangements for travel on that day.

"Services will return to normal on Saturday, March 14, 2015."

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