Belfast Telegraph

Timelapse video captures gridlock enraging drivers at new traffic lights in Belfast

A timelapse video has captured tail-to-tail traffic caused by a new traffic light system during morning rush hour in Belfast.

The lights are replacing a roundabout at one of the city's busiest junctions, Kennedy Way and the Andersonstown Road

New traffic lights at Kennedy Way have angered some drivers
New traffic lights at Kennedy Way have angered some drivers

They are intended in to ease congestion and improve safety, ahead of the introduction of the new Belfast Rapid Transit scheme next September.

Instead, many road users stranded in traffic took to social media to say they were left seeing red even when the lights were green.

Our video, shot over a three-hour period, shows just what lies behind the growing frustration of motorists.

One driver tweeted recently: "Kennedy Way traffic lights have ruined my life and added 20 minutes to my commute home."

Another said: "These new traffic lights on Kennedy Way are a GREAT idea! #Genius #Sittinghere10minutesalready."

Yesterday at 11am, another driver added: "The new Kennedy Way traffic lights are a disaster! 27 mins to travel 200 yards at 11! I can only imagine 5pm." In fact, the Belfast Telegraph observed yesterday evening as commuters returned home that traffic was flowing more freely as things started to settle down.

However, West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said many road users had complained of inconsistencies in recent days.

"I raised it with the Department for Infrastructure and they've assured me they're working on it," he said. "Obviously the signals had only been completed last week and they're still monitoring the sequencing.

"There have been a number of issues and complaints so we're hoping in a short period of time the Department get the sequencing right so the traffic can flow as smoothly as possible."

He said the previous roundabout system had been a magnet for accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.

A spokesman for the Department for Infrastructure admitted there had been some problems with signalling, but insisted the situation was being closely monitored.

He said: "While the majority of the work including the commissioning of the signals has been completed, there is still some work ongoing around the junction and the department will continue to monitor the operation of the junction over the coming weeks and months to optimise the traffic signal timings.

"The department is grateful for the patience of those who use the junction and would ask drivers to take extra care until they are familiar with the new layout."

He added that the primary aim of the new system was to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

"The change will also improve the control of traffic movements and facilitate priority for public transport (and) provides the necessary road infrastructure to serve potential future developments in the surrounding area, thus avoiding the need to have to carry out further works to the junction after the introduction of Belfast Rapid Transport in September 2018."

The Belfast Rapid Transport system will use 18m-long articulated buses with a capacity of around 100 people.

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