Belfast Telegraph

How could dead badger feature on Belfast traffic news for over two hours?

Taxi boss says there is no urgency to remove obstructions to get traffic moving across city

By Jonny Bell

Questions have been asked as to how a dead badger could feature prominently on the morning commute for Belfast motorists.

On Friday morning, just after 7am, the traffic and travel bulletins warned of a dead badger on the outside lane of one of the main arterial routes into the city.

The Department of Infrastructure's Traffic Watch service urged those heading into Belfast on the A2 dual carriageway to use caution in the area.

However, some drivers were being caught off guard by the animal.

By 9am drivers were still being warned of the danger. The 10am BBC travel news reported it had been removed finally.

William McCausland, owner of Belfast taxi firm Fona Cab described it as a "ludicrous" situation and that the authorities needed to have more urgency in clearing obstructions off roads.

"The impact it has right across the city can be huge," he said.

"The slightest thing can have a huge impact and it is not just for our drivers. It is people getting to work, school, deliveries and businesses.

"When, for example, a lorry sheds its load, it's a case of 'let's close the road and look at what we have to deal with'. There is no urgency to get the obstruction cleared and get traffic moving again. They just don't prioritise it.

"An incident on the West Link like a lorry shedding its load can cause long delays right across the city. Our staff have sat in traffic for hours to get to our east Belfast offices and they go nowhere near the West Link.

"People just don't seem to be aware of the value a delay has on people using the roads and the impact it has right across the city.

"Here we have a simple thing like a badger on the side of the road. It should have been cleared as a matter of safety it would have only taken five minutes. All it takes is to cause one driver to be caught out and then they hit another and all of a sudden it becomes more serious."

The Department of Infrastructure said: "Responsibility for removing the dead animal from the road would lie with the local council.  However, in this instance DFI officials assisted with the removal of the animal to a safe location beside the road and have liaised with Council officials in relation to its disposal.

"Throughout the morning the Traffic Information Control Centre advised drivers to exercise caution on the road and no major delays were caused.”

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