The trial permitting Class A taxis to use the bus lanes on the East and West Belfast Rapid Transit routes and the 12 hour bus lanes in the city centre will end at midnight on Sunday 14th May 2017. This is in line with the terms of the 12 week trial introduced in February 2017.
From Monday 15 May 2017, access to bus lanes will return to pre-trial arrangements with only Class B Wheelchair Accessible / Belfast Public Hire and Class D / Taxi Bus services permitted to use the bus lanes.
The Department for Infrastructure has been gathering information on the impact of taxis using bus lanes on the Belfast Rapid Transit and City Centre routes.
The Department will assess all the information gathered, including any views received, and present it to the next Minister in order for a decision to be made on long term access for taxis in bus lanes.
The Department is also currently seeking views on bus lane usage via an on-line survey available on the nidirect Citizen Space portal at:
Notes to editors:
- The trial started on Monday 20 February and was for a 12 week period. It will end at midnight on Sunday 14 May. Access to bus lanes will return to pre-trial arrangements from 00:01am on Monday 15 May with only Class B Wheelchair Accessible / Belfast Public Hire and Class D / Taxi Bus services permitted to use the bus lanes.
- The 12 week trial allowed Class A taxis and any of the remaining taxis still licensed as Private Hire (operating under green plates) and Public Hire outside Belfast (operating under white plates) to use appropriately signed bus lanes on the East and West Belfast Rapid Transit routes and the 12 hour (7.00am – 7.00pm) bus lanes in the city centre .
- Both Class B and Class D taxis are already permitted to use all appropriately signed bus lanes. Class B taxis are wheelchair accessible taxis and are mostly former Belfast Public Hire taxis but can include wheelchair accessible taxis which were formerly licensed as private hire. Class D taxis are known locally as Taxi Bus services.
- Class C taxis (intended for specialist services for example weddings and funerals) have not been permitted access.
- The Department is gathering data on traffic speeds, traffic volumes and vehicle speeds, as well as measuring journey times on the routes in question. Collision histories on the routes will also be considered. Attitudinal surveys targeted at the different type of road user who use bus lanes are also planned to complement a general on-line survey which is seeking the views of the public.
- The on-line survey is aimed at gathering people’s views on the trial and the use of bus lanes in general is available via the following link https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/dfi-traffic-and-engineering-policy-branch/taxis-in-bus-lanes/
- Further information on taxi classes can be found on nidirect’s website at: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/taxis-and-their-services
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
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