Belfast City Council motion is a threat to cyclists and road safety

Wednesday 03 May 2017

Councillor Georgina Milne last night opposed a Belfast City Council motion to extend a trial scheme allowing private-hire taxis into bus lanes.

Cllr Milne said: “I am very concerned about this motion, which represents a further threat to cycists and road safety. The current 12-week trial allowing taxis in the bus lanes, due to end on 14th of May, permits private-hire taxis to use bus lanes and invade a safe space designed to encourage cycling and protect cyclists.

“Bus lanes provide a safe space for the 2,700 people who cycle in Belfast. Cyclists are undoubtedly among the most vulnerable road users and we must work together to create a safe space for people using bicycles. The safety of cyclists should not disadvantage people who earn a living driving a taxi.

“Under the current trial, many people feel unsafe when they travel to work on their bikes. Individual cyclists and groups representing the thousands of people who cycle in the bus lanes have contacted me to let me know that they are looking forward to having their safe space back, without the presence of motor vehicles.

“This motion contradicts an earlier Council motion from December 2014, when the Council unanimously agreed that permitting taxis to use bus lanes would have a detrimental effect on cycling and efficiency of public transport. I cannot understand this a U-turn in thinking, extending a trial that is a threat to road safety.”

The Ormiston representative concluded:

“The original trial has not even been completed or an assessment completed.  We cannot compromise road safety.  As your Green Party Councillor, I opposed the proposed extension to allow private-hire taxis to use bus-lanes and I will continue to put you first by upholding the safety of people who cycle and drive through our city.”


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