Green Party leader and Belfast councillor, Malachi O’Hara, commented on a new report finding that Belfast is the 50th most congested city in the world:

“It is no surprise Belfast continues to be one of the most congested cities in the UK and now, the world.

“This is indicative of the failure by successive executives to invest in public transport and support people to use their cars less.

“Despite the declaration of a climate emergency by the NI Assembly in 2020, little to nothing has actually been done to act on the emergency.

“Congestion means lost hours of productivity for business, commuters stuck in soul destroying bumper to bumper traffic and it means that citizens right across Belfast are breathing in toxic air.

“The Department for Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs suggests from it’s own evidence that 1 in 24 deaths in Belfast are attributable to toxic air despite only 40% of households in Belfast not having access to a car or van.

“A primary cause of that toxic air is transport emissions."

Mal O'Hara continued: “Many cities used the opportunity during the first few waves of the pandemic to totally transform away from private car dependence. “Our Executive absolutely missed this opportunity by instead installing less than three kilometres of unconnected pop-up cycle lanes and refusing to enforce any form of pedestrianisation in the city."