Belfast Telegraph

New Belfast city centre road marking 'misleading'

Drivers left confused by arrow, says councillor

By Allan Preston

New road markings beside Belfast's courts have been branded a "horlicks".

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said he had received several complaints after one of the city's busiest commuter areas, Oxford Street, was modified at the weekend.

The work included resurfacing and moving a bus lane from the middle of the road.

However, Mr Rodgers said a new road marking to direct drivers towards the city centre was confusing.

The right-facing arrow points directly on to a pedestrianised part of Chichester Street in front of the law courts, with 'City Centre Only' written in giant letters. In practice, drivers are required to travel towards St George's Market, taking a right turn at the May Street traffic lights.

Mr Rodgers said the new marking should have been placed closer to May Street to make it clear for visiting drivers. "It's been a horlicks on the part of the contractors and it will cause confusion to visitors," Mr Rodgers said.

"I don't know how anybody could have made that mistake, it's very misleading.

"It's a shame because the resurfacing of the road and moving the bus lane is a massive improvement."

The pedestrianised section of Chichester Street, linking Oxford Street and Victoria Street, is closed off to general traffic with automatic bollards providing access for certain vehicles.

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said the directional arrows on the newly resurfaced Oxford Street between Queen's Bridge and the courts had been deliberately placed "to encourage correct lane discipline" on the approach to the traffic signals at May Street.

"The road markings applied reflect the final lane layout which will be in place for the commencement of Belfast Rapid Transit Glider services," the spokesman said.

The ambitious new public transport system is set to be introduced in the city by September.

Mr Rodgers responded: "I'm really amazed to hear the department coming out with that.

"I've had more and more people on to me about it all day. The arrow is simply in the wrong place, it should be placed past Chichester Street.

"For those not used to driving on Oxford Street it's just not clear and it's something that should have been sorted at the weekend."

The first phase of the glider service will link east and west Belfast as well as the Titanic Quarter via the city centre.

Department for Infrastructure staff said they intend to extend the new network to other parts of Belfast in the future subject to the success of phase one and the availability of funding.

Translink will be hosting a showcase of the new glider vehicle at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast at 10am tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph

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