New Bus Lanes – Revealed

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New Bus Lanes are to be introduced in Belfast on the Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast on Monday 10th August 2015.

While out and about we pictured the signs in place ready to reveal the Bus Lane use and which vehicles will be permitted to use them.

One rider commented on our Facebook page, “Can’t you shake the sign and try and figure out what’s inside?” So we went and had a look to see if all could be revealed.

We found on the Department for Regional Development (DRD) website a Statutory Rule entitled “The Bus Lanes (Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, which states that:

“The Bus Lanes (Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast –between Sandown Road andKnock Road) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015”, (S.R. 2015 No.297), which comes into operation on 27th July 2015.

The rule provides for with-flow bus lanes on lengths of Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast (between Sandown Road and Knock Road) during the hours 7.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p. m. Monday to Friday in which cycles, motorcycles and permitted taxis will be allowed.

So good news for motorcyclists and riders of scooters and mopeds, for another Bus Lane that permits the use of motorcycles, Scooters and Mopeds, although others are not so happy, as the Bus Lanes are now enforced with either static or mobile enforcement cameras with a £90 fixed penalty fine, cut to £45 if paid within 14 days, for non-permitted vehicles.

Another comment on our Facebook page from a rider was, “Somewhere else they can stick cameras on to make money from the motorist yet again. Amazing how there is never a shortage of money when It comes to erecting multi million pound camera systems.”

Interviewed in the Belfast Telegraph DRD – Department for Regional Development – committee member David McNarry said: “It’s about time motorists were given a break. In fact, bus lanes cause the most congestion and should be withdrawn from service completely and an end put to all this nonsense.”

The Ukip MLA added: “It’s bad enough having to drive through Belfast without having to worry about cameras and fines.

“This is just a money-making racket, another tax on hard-pressed motorists. It will also be a visitor’s nightmare. We are trying to attract tourists and then we’ll just slap them with a fine if they stray into a bus lane.”

Although Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said: “The advice is simple, observe the bus lane restriction and avoid the possibility of a fine. Bus lanes were introduced to help manage traffic, reduce journey times and improve our public transport infrastructure. Supporting this, I want to ensure that everyone who travels on our roads does so in a responsible and respectful way. I am confident these new measures will help achieve this.”

In our closeted world of motorcycles and two wheels do we really or you give two flying “red bricks” about fines and four wheeled traffic management, as we tootle down through the traffic congestion?

Links & Information

Statutory Rule – The Bus Lanes (Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast – pdf – Click Here

Right To Ride on Bikes In Bus Lanes – Click Here

Northern Ireland Motorcyclists Start To Use Bus Lanes – June 2004 pdf 113kb

Code of Conduct For Motorcyclists Using Bus Lanes – December 2008 pdf 276kb

Traffic Advisory Leaflet 2/07 The Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles – February 2007 pdf 542kb

Make sure you ride in bus lanes with caution – Plymouth City Council – 2007 pdf 545kb

 

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  1. It wasn’t us but motorcycles revealed on the new bus lane access on the Newtownards Road!