Major disruption for Belfast motorists

Published Thursday, 04 October 2012
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Motorists were left facing major delays across parts of Belfast on Thursday morning, due to a problem which affected traffic light sequencing.

Long tailbacks were caused by the technical issue experienced by BT, which has since been resolved.

"The fault at the exchange has now been repaired, with the system reverting to normal at around 10.20am," a DRD spokesman confirmed.

"Roads Service will continue to monitor traffic flow in the city centre throughout the day."

The disruption came as motorists were already trying to get to grips with the impact of the city's new bus lanes, which are aimed at helping traffic run more smoothly.

Whilst no one can predict technical faults like the one suffered this morning, questions need to be asked about DRD's back-up plans for situations such as this.

Jimmy Spratt, DUP

DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt, chair of the Regional Development committee, said the latest problems demonstrated a clear need to have both a coherent traffic management plan and back-ups in place.

"DRD need to ensure they get a grip of what is going on," he said.

"The proper movement of traffic within Belfast city centre is vital for the economy, not just of the city, but it affects a much wider circle of people who are caught up in traffic jams such as those suffered this morning.

"There will be further sections of the new traffic management to be rolled out in the future and it is vital that DRD demonstrate that they can manage that process properly."

Earlier this week, a special taskforce was set up by the Roads Service, Translink and police which will meet fortnightly for the next eight weeks to look at traffic issues.

While the latest problem to affect drivers has been resolved, it took some time for traffic to return to normal - with the Ormeau Road and Cromac Street areas particularly slow to clear.

© UTV News
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