See the Tele’s editorial for why I’m writing this.
Law-abiding motorists across Belfast today welcomed news that a mobile camera would be roaming Belfast to detect and fine drivers illegally using bus lanes on arterial routes across the city.
City centre worker Isobel told us “I have to sit in my car in traffic queues every day because I have to drive to other offices during the day. It sickens me when I see dozens of cars flying up the inside, the police never seem to enforce them.”
Cyclist Jim told us “Cars using the bus lanes in the morning make travelling by bike a lot more dangerous. Bus lane abuse increases the number of cyclists illegally using footways, and that just gives other cyclists like me a bad name.
“I’m not sure we’ll see that van as much as we ought, though,” he continued. “I hardly ever see a Traffic Attendant on my morning commute as I have to wait to cycle safely round illegally parked cars and delivery vehicles – will it all be more words and no action?”
In tandem, DRD has erected six fixed cameras in the City centre. “Law-abiding motorists are fed up of watching others break the law with impunity,” transport commentator Andy told us. “Maybe the likelihood of having to pay a £45 fine – £90 if they don’t pay within 14 days – will focus their minds.
“The next step is to invest in public transport to make it cheaper at point of use and more comprehensive. Too many people don’t have any choice other than to drive at rush hour because they have no practical alternative, and between them and people who drive simply because they own a car, it’s costing our economy dear in wasted time and money. People need that realistic alternative so that those who rely on their vehicles to be able to do their jobs or because of health issues can do so more easily and to ease cost pressure on our business sector.”
It is believed that a proposal to use the existing CCTV cameras on buses to detect bus lane offenders may have been cancelled. It isn’t yet known why this is the case.