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Two sides to the debate on traffic

Your coverage of Belfast traffic management in recent months has focused on the recipients of bus lane and parking tickets, but not on the real victims.

It takes no account of the thousands of innocent motorists who have to sit in traffic queues, watching dozens of cars unlawfully using bus lanes with impunity.

It takes no account of thousands of frustrated motorists stuck in traffic queues because one inconsiderate motorist has blocked an urban clearway. It takes no account of the motorists who search for a lawful parking place to go about their business and walk to a shop only to discover cars and vans ignoring the clearway regulations.

It takes no account of the shopper who can't get a cheap (or free) parking space, because they're all taken by people parked well over the time limit. It takes no account of the motorist travelling at 70mph on the motorway being tailgated by someone, or slowing down to the signed mandatory 40mph limit through roadworks, while the rest of the traffic continues at 70mph.

It takes no account of motorists delayed by buses outside Central Station, forced into the general traffic lanes by parked motorists who have ignored the traffic signs which have sent traffic for the station to the lower entrance since 1976.

And there are also non-motorists. Cyclists tailgated by cars unlawfully using bus lanes. Pedestrians in Castle Street having to avoid cars ignoring no entry signs. We could even mention cyclists who ignore traffic lights and no entry signs.

We all know people make mistakes and it's easily done. No one is immune - even accidentally going too fast past a speed camera we know rightly is there and hoping we get away with it (although it is quite a mistake to not see a big flashing sign, several blue signs and road markings identifying a bus lane that goes all the way to the junction with May Street without a break).

We hear too much about the motorists who complain about being caught breaking the law. What about those of us who do our best to obey the rules of the road?


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