Class A taxis will be allowed to use the bus lanes on the Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) routes on a trial basis from Monday 20 February.
The trial will apply to the bus lanes on the East and West Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and the 12 hour bus lanes in the city centre, which link the two routes. The trial will last for 12 weeks.
The Department for Infrastructure’s aim is to balance and respect the needs of all road users.
The Department will assess the impact of the taxis on the operation of the bus lanes during the trial period. This will include the safety of bus lane users, as well as the impact on journey times, vehicle speeds and volumes. The Department will also invite stakeholders to provide their views before reaching a decision on the long term access arrangements for taxis in bus lanes.
Notes to editors:
1. The trial relates to 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).
2. Both Class B and Class D taxis are already permitted to use all 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 locally known as Taxi Bus services.
3. Class C taxis (intended for specialist services e.g. weddings and funerals) have not been permitted access.
4. Further information on taxi classes can be found on NIDirect’s website at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/taxis-and-their-services
5. BRT East follows a route along the Upper Newtownards Road, Albertbridge Road and East Bridge Street, and the trial will include the Woodstock Link. BRT West includes Andersonstown Road, Falls Road and Divis Street, and the Stewartstown Road which will become operational during the trial.
6. The trial will apply to any of the city centre 12 hour bus lanes (which are marked on the adjacent bus lane sign with ‘7am to 7pm’), and includes the following:
- Chichester Street
- College Avenue
- College Square East
- Cromac Street
- Donegall Square East
- Donegall Square North
- Donegall Square South
- Fisherwick Place
- Great Victoria Street
- Howard Street
- May Street
- Oxford Street
- Queen Street
- Upper Queen Street
- Victoria Street
- Wellington Place
7. Further information on BRT can be found on the Department’s website at www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/topics/transport-initiatives/belfast-rapid-transit .
8. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or e-mail: 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.