Keep private taxis out of Belfast bus lanes - sustainable transport NOT private profit
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The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has launched a public consultation on a proposed experiment to allow thousands of private taxis to flood all of Belfast’s bus lanes for at least 12 months. This is madness - it's the next step on the way to a permanent arrangement and it has to stop now.
Please sign this petition but more importantly email your objection to DfI by Friday 6th July 2018 - do this at bikefast.org/object.
Our city is grinding to a halt through congestion, it’s choking on record poor air quality and a public health crisis deepens through inactivity and obesity.
Bus lanes are there to prioritise sustainable transport:
- buses which do the work which do the work of 50 cars at a time
- a new Rapid Transit system based on speed and reliability to attract drivers out of their cars
- growing cycling levels which combats both congestion and obesity
- wheelchair accessible taxis and taxi buses which provide socially-important services
Private taxis are one of the least sustainable forms of transport – half of all journeys are run empty of passengers – and this experiment will load 4,500 taxis into Belfast bus lanes. For comparison, the entire Metro bus fleet is around 300.
Belfast's £90m investment in the Glider bus rapid transit system is meant to start lifting our city out of our congestion hell - yet just weeks before Glider launches, DfI is proposing to fatally undermine it by dumping thousands of taxis into bus lanes.
Taxis which will be legally entitled to park up and wait for two minutes even if a Glider bus is stuck behind it in the bus lane.
While we wait endlessly for DfI to build a cycling network, bus lanes remain one of the few safe spaces for cycling in Belfast. This experiment will frighten away existing cyclists and make the roads less safe for people who DfI are supposed to be encouraging to take up cycling.
DfI seems determined to torch its own policy commitments to sustainable transport in the Programme for Government and make this city a worse place to live, work and travel in.
You can raise your voice now say no to hobbling sustainable transport, from which the only positive effect will be to line the pockets of the big business interests of the private taxi industry.
Sign the petition, share it widely and visit bikefast.org/object to email your objection - only doing that offers a slim chance of stopping this madness.
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