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Belfast Rapid Transit System A Joke
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Belfast Rapid Transit System A Joke

Amid ever increasing concern over the introduction of a rapid transport link between East and West Belfast, the Department for Regional Development (DRD) has announced that the scheme which was to be fully introduced by 2017 has now been delayed until August of 2018.

The scheme which has lead to massive traffic chaos in East Belfast, the introduction of unpopular bus lanes and endless road works, simply to regain a few feet of pavement to facilitate a 12 hour bus lane in both directions and single file traffic is now concerning to both business and locals alike.

John Dallat MLA for the SDLP indicated that this was another setback in the pursuit of a modern transport system for Belfast commenting that the announcement comes amid yet another political crisis which suits those responsible for the mess.

With strife within the Northern Ireland Assembly, the NI Executive facing collapse and the DUP appointing and resigning ministers on what is described as a Hokey Cokey basis, coupled with no Minister at the DRD, who is in control?

Apparently its DRD secretary Peter May who indicated that severe budgetary pressures remained on the DRD and that continued uncertainty meant that the programme has not been able to commit resources in the original time frame.

For some, the Belfast Rapid Transport Plan is nothing more that a bendy bus on semi- permanent bus lanes which in the age of online spending could destroy city centre shopping and shopping districts along its route.

Despite its on-going implementation many communities that will be affected have no idea that the scheme when fully implemented will see bus lanes operate for 12 hours between 7am and 7pm leading to difficulty in parking for local shops and parents on the school run.

With the scheme delayed until 2018 and its first bus late by a year it could hardly be referred to as rapid transport!



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