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What taxis can use bus lanes?

AS a regular user of taxis in the course of a business day, I am confused regarding the operation of bus lanes within the Belfast metropolitan area.

The taxis I use are of the minicab-type, or saloon vehicle.

The driver informs me that they are unable to use bus lanes, as they are for the use of the black taxi, or London-style cab only.

On closer inspection of the signs indicating the bus lanes, it states 'Permitted Taxi Only'. Could someone tell me what a 'Permitted Taxi' is? As far as I can see, these signs appear to be illegal under EU law for unfair competition.

CONFUSED

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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