With the opening of a new 575 space car park in Belfast City Centre can we remove 575 on street car parking spaces and replace them with bike lanes?

2020 has not been a good year for the McCausland family. Firstly they own Value Cabs, which has been hit hard by COVID, then they open up a new car park just as the city has record low levels of commuters. I am sure all of you working from home really miss having to pay £20 a day to park in Belfast. Still, they have been in business over 100 years so I imagine this too shall pass for them. …

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What Northern Ireland needs to do to decarbonize its economy

Following from the speech given by environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg at the UN General Assembly in New York this week, there has been a significant amount of discussion about the failure to respond to the world’s unfolding climate crisis. Northern Ireland contributes to greenhouse gas emission to a much greater extent than its small size would suggest. The charts at the top of the page show Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2017, compared with the target of …

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Man who advocates driving off cliff advises friends not to be in the car…

The Guardian reports that arch-Eurosceptic MP John Redwood has been advising clients in his day job to pull their money out of the UK: In the piece for the Financial Times, the Conservative MP – who has a £180,000 second job as chief global strategist for Charles Stanley – said the European Central Bank was promoting faster growth when the UK was seeing a squeeze on credit. “Mario Draghi, ECB president, is now doing whatever it takes, not just to rescue …

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The sunday debate – tell us about your commute to work…

In the bar last night I was talking with a guy who lives in Belfast but works in Swords in North County Dublin. He commutes around 3 hours 10mins a day, nearly 16 hours a week. He is up at 6am leaves the house at 6:30am and is in work for around 8am. He leaves work at 4 and is back home around 5:45pm. When I looked at him in amazement he said that is nothing, there is a guy in his firm commuting …

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Is Northern Ireland’s love affair with diesel cars coming to the end of the road?

People in Northern Ireland really love their diesel vehicles. In fact, around 60% of vehicles on the road are diesel powered, and about 45% of private cars. Just one small issue, diesel pollution is killing people. If sitting in a traffic jam on the Westlink is not depressing enough, now you know that you are also slowly killing yourself and everyone around you. Researchers estimate diesel pollution kills around 30,000 people every year. From the Guardian: The global human health impact …

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Investment bubbles: houses, cars and tulips

This is not really a typical slugger topic but I thought it would be interesting to look at parallels with the housing bubble in Northern Ireland (and even more so the RoI). Keep that in mind if you find what I am writing too tedious. I have a major interest in classic cars. I have a pretty encyclopaedic knowledge of 1960s onwards sporty cars and have got assorted classic car magazines for years. My real passion has always been Porsches. …

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Slight rise in road deaths in 2013

One of the grimmer statistics which is complied at the end of a year is the number of road deaths each year. In 2013 it was 56, which is an increase of 8 as compared to 2012. In 2011 it was 59 and 2010 55. These results still represent an approximately 7 fold decrease in road deaths over the last 40 years. The BBC are reporting Mark Durkin stating: “It only takes one bad choice to ruin a life. We …

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