Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: Even Lance Armstrong would steer clear of Belfast's cycle lanes

I got held up in traffic the other day. The strange thing was, it was a Sunday morning, not rush hour.

The hold up (well, it was four cars forced to stop for a moment, let's be honest) was caused by three workmen out painting new lines on the road.

“Good time to do it,” I thought, “and easy too, since they only have to go over the lines already there.” But no, this wasn't the case. They were actually CHANGING the lines — from two car lanes, they were creating one car lane and one new cycle lane.

Hurray, I thought as I sat in my car, a victory for cyclists! We'll be hosting the Tour de France next. But before you break out the environmental champers, think again. They were painting a cycle lane, in Belfast.

For those of you who've ever braved such things, as I used to, you'll know that a cycle lane here has more lip in the service than service.

They're full of rubbishy bits of stones and glass. They disappear willy nilly at the most dangerous places like big junctions.

And they often end up being covered in parked cars, making them entirely pointless.

“Well, it's a start”, I hear you say. Not exactly. More a start, stop, start, stop, disappear, oops. policy? What policy?

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