Belfast Telegraph

Anger over lanes for Belfast Glider buses sparks city hall protest

By Brett Campbell

A protest has been planned for Belfast City Hall tonight ahead of a council meeting which will discuss "serious" problems surrounding the roll-out of Translink's new Glider transport network.

It follows a meeting of angry residents and retailers in west Belfast last week which was attended by over 100 people who branded the scheme a "complete disaster".

The new Glider system officially starts today, but new 12 hour bus lane restrictions started being enforced a number of weeks ago.

People Before Profit councillor Matthew Collins will propose a motion seeking to highlight "serious issues" associated with the introduction of the £90m Belfast Rapid Transport (BRT) project.

Mr Collins hopes that the demonstration will put pressure on the local authority to act, in the absence of a Stormont Executive.

"These are serious problems which must be addressed and I hope people turn out to make their grievances known," he said.

"This was a flagship project for Sinn Fein and the DUP, who have been largely silent on the very real fears of local business owners, residents and schools."

The motion cites examples of elderly and disabled residents having access to their homes impaired, parents being unable to drop their kids off to school safely and the adverse impact on businesses which have had access to their stores restricted, as issues of concern.

It also expresses fears that a reduction in parking spaces and plans to extend double yellow lines into residential areas will exacerbate problems stemming from major congestion caused by the introduction of 12 hour bus lanes.

Mr Collins is calling for the council to introduce urgent measures to mitigate the problems. But it is unclear if Belfast City Council has any power to intervene.

"Ultimately, this is a central government issue," a spokesperson said.

Belfast Telegraph

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