Wednesday 15 April 2020
Green Party NI deputy leader Malachai O'Hara has asked Belfast City Council to explore ways in which main city traffic lanes can be reallocated to walkers and cyclists during the Covid-19 quarantine period.
The measure has been rolled out in othercities such as Berlin, Budapest and Vancouver making social distancing easier and the city more accessible for walkers, cyclists and those with mobility issues.
Mal O'Hara said: "Traffic across our city has been greatly reduced across the last number of weeks with the welcome benefit of better air quality and a huge drop in congestion levels.
“We're asking Belfast City Council to work with the Infrastructure Department to cordon off traffic lanes for pedestrians and allocate addition space for cyclists. This would create a real opportunity to make walking and cycling safer and social distancing easier.
“This is also a chance to explore pedestrian zones and an alternative vision for our city. Belfast has a serious air pollution problem and is one of the most congested cities across these islands. More and more people are realising that we cannot simply revert back to our normal once lockdown restrictions have been eased.
"Our normal has caused too many problems for our people and place, including in this instance dirty air and bumper to bumper traffic during every weekday rush hour. That's not something we are content to simply slip back into."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498