Neil Wilson: A week spent in traffic every year is evidence that Stormont’s transport strategy has failed.
Commenting on the release of the TomTom Traffic Index which showed that Belfast is now the most congested city in the UK, even overtaking rush hour in London, Conservative spokesman Neil Wilson said the report should “serve as evidence that Stormont’s transport strategy has failed.”
The study shows that Belfast drivers move 86% slower in rush hour than they would on a normal journey with free flowing traffic. This only decreases by half in any other hour of the day, meaning that whatever time you drive through Belfast, it is time that could be saved if driving anywhere else.
Neil said: “All these ‘I was stuck in traffic’ moments add up, and the average driver spends over a week a year driving through the city. That’s the average length of a holiday that people actually spend sat in traffic doing very little.
“The strategy of ‘more people per journey’, adopted by the DRD, which included the provision for bus lanes in an attempt to reduce congestion, has failed.
“These are costing over £100million to build, and for what? The fact of the matter is bus lanes do not encourage people to use buses, they just slow down those who don’t. Getting stuck in traffic is frustrating and economically damaging - not the ideal outcome of a £100million project.
“Liverpool have recently scrapped their bus lanes. ‘They’ve obviously weighed up the pros and cons and have come to the conclusion that the little, if no amount of time saved for residents doesn’t justify the amount of money spent. That £130million would be better spent reducing the amount of traffic lights and speed bumps so traffic can be free flowing and drivers can get from A to B in a reasonable amount of time.
“Being named as the worst city to drive around in the UK should serve as evidence that Stormont’s transport strategy has failed.”
For more information please contact Neil Wilson on 07921260956