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Belfast City Council votes in favour of taxis in bus lanes

The council will now write an official letter of support to the Department for Infrastructure Credit: Presseye

Belfast City Council has passed a motion in favour of allowing taxis to use bus lanes for an additional six months.

It comes amid a current twelve-week trial which permits taxis to use the Belfast Rapid Transit bus lanes.

As part of the trial, Class A taxis had been allowed to use lanes on the East and West Belfast Rapid Transit routes, and the 12-hour bus lanes in the city centre which link the two routes.

On Wednesday night, Councillors passed a motion in favour of extending the length of the trial period, permitting all taxis to use the Belfast Rapid Transit bus lanes, for an additional six months and expanding this out to include all Belfast bus lanes.

It was passed with only one vote against.

The council will now write an official letter of support to the Department for Infrastructure, asking to reverse the decision to end the trial period on 15th May.

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New bus lane in operation in west Belfast

A new bus lane on the Stewartstown Road, Belfast is in operation on Monday.

The new lane on Stewartstown Road between Michael Ferguson Roundabout and Finaghy Road North is part of the Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) project and will operate, city-bound, from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.

The BRT project will provide vital infrastructure connecting east Belfast, west Belfast and Titanic Quarter via the city centre.

This new bus lane will provide increased priority for buses and aims to support a faster, more reliable and accessible bus service on this key public transport route.

The Department for Infrastructure says the bus lanes already introduced as part of the project have contributed to a 6% increase in the number of public transport passenger journeys.

When the BRT system becomes operational in September 2018, the route in west Belfast will run from the McKinstry Road Roundabout on Stewartstown Road via a new Transport Hub at Colin Town Centre, Andersonstown Road, Falls Road and Divis Street, to the city centre.

It will continue from there to east Belfast and through to Dundonald Park & Ride.

The Department has urged drivers to take extra care when travelling on this stretch of Stewartstown Road until they are familiar with the new arrangements.

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