Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for South Belfast, Michael McGimpsey has written to Road Service regarding the lack of forward planning of road work schemes in and around the city Centre.
The Assembly Member has raised his concerns after a week of traffic bedlam in and around the City Centre brought on by the introduction of the new bus lanes at the same time as major road works such as the resurfacing of Donegall Road and work on the new road layout at the junction of Sandy Row/Hope Street/Grosvenor Road.
In a statement the Assembly Member said, “This past week has been an absolute disaster as far as traffic management is concerned. I cannot believe that planners within the Road Service could not have foreseen the introduction of the bus lanes, when schools had returned, causing traffic disruption. To then allow major road works on Sandy Row/Hope Street and the Donegall Road to go ahead seems ridiculous given that these would be some of the main routes to access the Westlink out of the city.”
“As a result commuters have faced major delays and businesses in the city have missed out as shoppers have chosen to drive to out of town shopping centres rather than battle through the traffic jams.”
In conclusion Mr McGimpsey said, “While I understand the argument for the introduction of the bus lanes I am calling on Road Service officials to show some common sense in the future and plan road improvement schemes and changes to the road network in a way that causes the minimal disruption to road users and businesses in the city. The finances of local businesses are very strained at the moment and they cannot afford to face the difficulties that these traffic disruptions cause to their deliveries and the ability of their customers to get to them.”