Cycle lanes being used as ‘informal car parks’
DRD Roads Service has created a new contraflow cycle lane in south Belfast that not only runs contrary to the flow of traffic, but often has large numbers of vehicles parked in the lane.
The Roads Service has said that the whole package, including the two-metre-wide cycle lane and the signposts to alert road users and pedestrians to the new system cost approximately £2,000.
A Roads Service spokesperson said: “The Amelia Street contraflow cycle lane, gives a direct cycle access from Great Victoria Street to the area to the south of the City Hall. It also combines with the new two-way system in Upper Queen Street, giving cyclists a relatively traffic-free route through to Castle junction and beyond. This avoids cyclists having to use the multi-lane and very busy route via Great Victoria Street-Wellington Place. Cycle contraflow schemes also exist in Glengall Street and Joy Street (as yet incomplete) and others are planned.
“The width of the cycle lane is two metres, leaving three metres for the adjacent running lane, and over two metres for the taxi rank. Parking restrictions exist to keep the lane clear and vehicles should not park in this area. However, if this does occur, cyclists using this contraflow system will have a clear view of traffic approaching them.
“The cost is nominal as the work only involves signing and road marking as well as creating the appropriate legislation.”
Belfast City Council has stated the “nominal” cost is approximately £2,000 for street markings and the sign posts.
South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt said: “The SDLP want continued investment from DRD into cycle lanes but we also want continued and maintained investment in keeping them clear.
“This is clearly a matter for the traffic authorities, PSNI and DRD, to keep the cycle lanes clear for cyclists. They must not become informal carparks.
“I will continue to press the authorities both at the Policing Board and at the Assembly to keep this issue on the agenda.”