Progress of Belfast on the Move

An overview of the transport masterplan for Belfast city centre including a look at whether it's working, the enforcement of bus lanes and what's happening next.

Is Belfast on the Move working?

Yes, the Belfast on the Move project has been a success. For the first time, less than half of people travelling into the city centre in the morning peak are travelling by private car.

Throughout the day there are about 11,000 fewer vehicles travelling through the core city centre streets, improving road safety and environmental conditions for shoppers, workers, local residents and visitors. Bus in bus lane at city hall


This has improved accessibility, providing more choice for people travelling into the city centre to work and shop. Parking usage has increased, indicating that car borne shoppers have not been deterred.

Since completion of the traffic management changes in 2013 more people are walking, cycling and using public transport for their journey into the city centre in the morning peak. For the first time less than half of people are travelling in by private car.

Percentages of modes of travel into Belfast
Form of transport Percentage (%)
Private vehicle 47
Bus 23
Rail 13
Pedestrian 13
Taxi 3
Bicycle 1

About 40% of households in Belfast do not have access to a private car – the Department’s transport policy therefore remains focused on the movement of people, rather than vehicles, at peak times.  It is therefore important that the allocation of road space is proportionate.

Bus lanes form the backbone of the Metro bus network in Belfast. They have improved bus service reliability and passengers are enjoying a reduction in journey times, helping to reduce congestion and make the city more accessible.

Translink reported increases of 2% in Metro and 9% in rail passengers over recent years – overall, rail and bus journeys are expected to exceed 80 million this year based on current trends.

Our Park and Ride schemes are proving particularly popular. The rail and bus based sites are all either at capacity or showing a steady increase in usage – there is an increasing demand for alternatives to private car commuting.

Enforcement of the bus lanes

The Department has introduced bus lane enforcement by both the PSNI and the Department. This involves the use of a number of fixed cameras and one mobile camera to enforce the bus lanes in the city centre and the greater Belfast area. For further information see:

What’s happening next?

We are working closely with the Department for Social Development (DSD) in their plans for public realm improvements in the north side of the city centre (Streets Ahead Phase 3). This will involve the introduction of bus lanes in Royal Avenue and York Street and other traffic management changes in that area. The link to DSD’s Streets Ahead project provides more information. Further details of the associated traffic management changes will be available here in due course.

Your views

Your views are important to us and comments can be forwarded by writing to the Department at:

Department for Infrastructure
DfI Roads, Eastern Division
4 Hospital Road


Page last updated May 2016

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