New traffic changes welcome but enhanced public transport is vital

Alliance Regional Development Spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has welcomed the creation of new traffic management measures in Belfast city centre which will give public transport, cyclists and pedestrians a higher priority, but said that public transport must receive more funding to help change the car culture in Northern Ireland. The new traffic measures are being introduced on Queen Street, Upper Queen Street and Castle Street in Belfast.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “We need to get more people out of their cars and into using more sustainable types of transport. These changes to traffic management in Belfast city centre are very welcome however they must be complimented by more money being spent on public transport to increase the number of routes and frequency of services.

“The transport budget for Northern Ireland needs to be rebalanced to ensure money can be re-allocated from roads to buses and trains. We need to change the car culture to help protect the environment and reduce congestion in our towns and cities. These new traffic management measures are very positive but it’s vital that we are also investing to augment our public transport system. We also need to look into the further integration of bus and rail services to further encourage people to use more public transport.

“In recent weeks we have heard plans to cut public transport services and I am deeply concerned about the impact that this news has and the message that these cuts send out.

“At this difficult time financially many people might be looking at the option of leaving the car at home and getting public transport, but if there are cuts in services this could put people off making that change.”


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