Lyttle disappointed by rapid transit system delay

East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has expressed disappointment at the news that the launch date for the Belfast Rapid Transit system has been delayed by almost a year.

The transport scheme was due to be completed by September 2017, however, the DRD Permanent Secretary told a meeting of the Department for Regional Development (DRD) Committee today (Wednesday) that it has been put back until August 2018.

“The people and businesses of Belfast need modern, efficient and sustainable public transport options and it is hoped that the proposed Belfast Rapid Transport System will be a step in this direction.

“It is bitterly disappointing; therefore, to learn of this delay and that the guided bus system will now not be operational until August 2018.

“The Committee was also told by the Permanent Secretary the DRD has been directed by a Minister no longer in post to operate a budget that will deliver a £15 million overspend in 2015/16.

“This begs the question as to how the outgoing Ulster Unionist Party Minister believed abandoning his position during such a serious situation for our public finances and public services was doing what’s right for Northern Ireland.

“Parties need to take responsibility, get round the table and address the issues that are risking the peace and prosperity of our community.”

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