Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said the decision to defer an experimental scheme allowing private hire taxis in bus lanes was inevitable in the absence of a Minister.
Ms Armstrong was speaking after the Department for Infrastructure confirmed it could not take the decision to go ahead with the scheme, saying it would instead put it to any future Minister. She said while she recognised the frustration many in the private taxi industry will feel from the announcement, the postponement of the scheme will allow the new Glider service to be fully operational on its own.
“This delay is down to the fact we have no Ministers in place to take political decisions. If the private taxi industry are frustrated they should look to DUP and Sinn Féin as to the reason why we have no decision-making process. While this impasse continues, difficult decisions will be shelved.
“Yet while the reasons behind this decision are frustrating, it will pave the way for a better comparison in the long run. By the time any pilot scheme gets up and running, the new Glider vehicles will have had single use of the bus lanes for some months – making it easier to assess the success or weaknesses of any later pilot scheme.
“Northern Ireland is behind the times when it comes to public transport and despite recent issues in the Titanic Quarter, the Glider offers an opportunity to modernise and keep up with other towns and cities across Europe. I hope everyone who has the opportunity will make the best use of the new facilities over the coming months.”