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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The Strange World of Hygiene Theatre and Covid-19…

Good article by Derek Thompson over at The Atlantic on Hygiene Theatre. As you may remember Security Theatre is the name given to the practices at airport security that don’t actually do much to reduce terrorism but let the government pretend they are doing something. You know the taking your shoes off, no water bottles, frisking 80-year-old grannies from Cullybackey within an inch of their lives etc. Covid-19 has given rise to a similar phenomenon where people are cleaning their …

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Queen’s Quarter superblock – Freeing a city quarter from vehicle traffic and pedestrianising Botanic Avenue…

Following Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon’s announcement of a new Walking and Cycling Champion, to lead the emergency measures needed to immediately increase active travel space and priority, we take a closer look at one aspect of plans: superblocks. The term has been used to describe work to reduce traffic levels within areas of Barcelona, and Bikefast has proposed a superblock-style approach to re-configuring Belfast’s Linen Quarter. Coronavirus has claimed many lives and devastated families, and will continue to do so – in greater …

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Air France ordered to curb competition with rail in France…

This is an interesting story from railjournal.com ONE of three conditions imposed on Air France in exchange for a €7bn coronavirus aid package is to stop competing with TGV services where rail offers a viable alternative. The ban on short-haul domestic air travel will apply to routes where trains offer a journey time of 2h 30min or less. This means Air France will no longer be able to sell tickets for domestic travel on flights between Paris and Bordeaux, Lyon, …

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Coronavirus: A chance to reshape our roads for the future…

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Jonathan Hobbs is a cycling campaigner from Belfast The coronavirus pandemic has affected life in Northern Ireland in unprecedented ways. Thousands have becoming infected and hundreds have died, devastating families and communities. Lockdown has changed how go about daily business in ways that we would have thought unbelievable at the start of 2020. One of the very few positives to emerge has been the general outdoor environment, especially in my city Belfast. Vehicle traffic is almost non-existent compared to normal. …

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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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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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£1.1 billion running public transport to stand still

I have to say, I hate listening to my recorded voice, so it’s probably as well that I haven’t listened back to myself on Good Morning Ulster or Radio Foyle breakfast.  I did watch myself talking to Kevin Sharkey on BBC Newsline, which is a bad idea for the shy.  I have to thank my friend Wesley for recommending me once again. Having received an advance copy of the NIAO report into DRD: the effectiveness of public transport in Northern …

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Thoughts on The New Routemaster and Green Transport

The new Routemaster buses by Wrightbus have finally begun to appear in London. These buses have been championed by Boris Johnston to replace the bendy buses brought in by Ken Livingstone when he was mayor. The buses seem to have proved reasonably popular with the public though a protest bus followed the first new Routemaster to complain about the rise in fares. Several London politicians also joined in the attacks (from the BBC): In an open letter to the mayor, …

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POTD – A warning

Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the …

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