Fines plea over new west Belfast bus lanes
The network of bus lanes around Belfast is to be extended into the west of the city from Monday.
A new route, which runs between McKinstry Road roundabout and the city centre, will come into operation ahead of the Belfast Rapid Transit Glider service starting in September.
And while the announcement has been welcomed, Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts said he hoped there wasn't an over-zealous approach to fines for motorists as the lanes come into force.
"We have said in the past that the high numbers of fines for drivers straying into the bus lanes is worrying. We have put forward a yellow card approach. It's common sense to warn people," he said.
Between January and March, 5,208 fines were handed out for bus lane offences, up from 4,894 for the same period in 2017. The new bus lanes on Stewartstown Road, Andersonstown Road, Falls Road and Divis Street will operate from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, and include a loading/unloading window between 10am and 2pm and a facility for vehicles displaying a blue badge to stop for up to 10 minutes. There will be a special allowance for funerals.
Gordon Clarke from Sustrans NI said he hoped the new lanes will benefit the environment.