Belfast needs a Green Transport Plan not taxis in bus lanes

The Green Party in Northern Ireland has called for a Green Transport Plan and stated that taxis should not be allowed in bus lanes until such time as a comprehensive transport plan for Belfast is implemented.

That was the key message from the party’s response to the Experimental Traffic Control Scheme (Taxis in Bus Lanes) 2018 consultation.

Áine Groogan is the Green Party representative for Botanic and co-authored the consultation response.

Áine Groogan said: “The Green Party recognises that every type of transport has a role in our city, including taxis.

“However, we are clear that it’s a bad idea to have taxis in bus lanes for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, taxis in bus lanes cannot paper over the reality that there is no credible transport strategy for Belfast.

“A Green Transport Plan for Belfast is needed to provide a longer term, sustainable transport plan which promotes healthy transport solutions.

“We cannot take a decision on taxis in bus lanes without a full understanding of its impact on other types of transport.

“Indeed, the Belfast Rapid Transport (BRT) system represents a £90 million investment in public transport infrastructure, aimed in part at promoting sustainable transportation solutions.

“Allowing taxis in bus lanes would be detrimental to the BRT system before it even becomes operational”.

Áine Groogan continued:

“We are also clear that taxis in bus lanes will be detrimental to cyclists. I want Belfast to become a cycling city and allowing taxis in bus lanes is a dangerous and unfair backward step.

“Finally, taxis in bus lanes does nothing to address the air pollution crisis. It is estimated that around 500 people a year die from conditions related to air pollution.

“We must take this seriously as a public health issue. Promoting taxis in bus lanes ahead of a sustainable and comprehensive transport plan ignores the impact that air pollution is having on our lives, health and wellbeing”.

ENDS

Media Contact: Sinead McIvor
07701 302 498

Read the full consultation response here

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