ROBblog

 

 

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On Friday 20th June 2014, the second annual Ride On Belfast event took to the city streets. Last year, around 70 people rode from the Gasworks to the City Hall, inspired by and assembled under the banner of The Fréd Festival. This year the theme was ruthless expansion, with the twin aims of:

  • being the biggest peloton in Belfast since the Giro d’Italia
  • encouraging people not used to cycle commuting to try it out

That was the simplest expression of what Ride On Belfast is about – people riding bicycles in Belfast for their own reasons, whether being the most practical way to work, for the school run, for their health or just the enjoyment. It’s not a protest, it’s not ‘taking back’ the roads, it’s not causing aggro to others – just riding a bike.

But to make this year really special, we needed some new, innovative tactics..

The Weather Underground

Belfast is used to long arid summers, heatwaves lasting months and emergency air-drops of Mr Frostie supplies, but Fréd and his goons needed to be sure that precipitation wasn’t going to affect Ride On Belfast. There was nothing for it – with a brass neck, we tweet-bombed all of the finest weather presenters on local television, and Frank Mitchell too.

And by jove, the BBC crew got into the spirit, with Angie Phillips retweeting, Barra Best tweeting his own predictions, and the fabulous Cecilia Daly (the new darling of Belfast cycling) going the extra mile..

And so, the day before Ride On Belfast gathered, we got our first official ‘national’ weather forecast!

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And as it turned out, the weather was just about perfect on the day..

 

The Gathering

https://twitter.com/ellenfromnowon/status/479874513573019648

This year’s Ride On Belfast was helped by some last minute news from Translink, as their early morning ban on bicycles on trains was eased to accommodate those travelling for the event:

This was a most welcome nod to active travel, and hopefully will give Translink and DRD pause to consider trialling this over a longer period.

https://twitter.com/BelfastCyclist/status/480028818204536833

https://twitter.com/bernie_stocks/status/479921650725814272

The gathering crowd was impressed to see Northern Ireland’s Transport Minister Danny Kennedy ride into the bunch with his new Cycling Unit in tow. Regular cyclist and MLA Sammy Douglas also joined in.

Minister Danny Kennedy arrives with his bicycle outrides
Minister Danny Kennedy arrives with his bicycle outriders

 

The Grand Départ

Under severe pressure from hungry commuters, the peloton set off a little earlier than planned. With a tight first turn from the Gasworks green onto the road, the Minister seized his opportunity and put in a devastating early kick. This split the peloton at the Ormeau Road crossing, and the breakaway group was never caught again. Apparently, Danny Kennedy’s sprint finish down Donegall Place was a phenomenal sight.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbGdaI6zEqc?rel=0&w=600&h=338]

 

On The Open Road

This year Ride On Belfast took an extended trip around Belfast, leading to an iconic roll down Royal Avenue towards the City Hall. The PSNI officers took a relaxed back seat this year, yet the busier junctions were taken with ease. Notable pinch points (again) were the length of time to traverse Shaftesbury Square (not great for cycling at all) and the bus lane at Great Victoria Street (still not great for buses, never mind cycling). Holding the outside lane along Carrick Hill worked to control what was expected to be the busiest and fastest traffic of the ride. The traffic-restricted streets of the city centre were a joy.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uxRPmcbSYY?rel=0&w=600&h=338]

https://twitter.com/GeoffCaves/status/479919201080311808

https://twitter.com/jonathan_alban/status/479886080544882688

 

Selfie On Belfast

After the last year with Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as Lord Mayor, Belfast has fallen in love with the selfie. As well as people just taking them for the craic, See.Sense also ran a competition for the best selfie taken by their stand at Belfast City Hall..

https://twitter.com/BelfastAikido/status/479895033630699520

https://twitter.com/KillinchyCC/status/479929158337069056

https://twitter.com/GeoffCaves/status/479915437950763008

https://twitter.com/dbinterz/status/479921452708548608

https://twitter.com/clairemulv/status/480005258463416320

 

City Hall and well-earned grub

A huge thank you again to Travelwise and Belfast City Council for providing a free breakfast at the Bobbin Cafe (and the new option of a free coffee at Javaman) for those who completed Ride On Belfast. The City Hall grounds became a sea of bicycles for the morning, while local cycle lighting tech firm See.Sense showed off their wares and PSNI bike officers were busy security-marking bicycles for the punters.

Inside the City Hall, the breakfast queue stretched out the door (which is testament to the rise in participation at Ride On Belfast) and we’re all grateful to the Bobbin staff for coping under severe pressure.

https://twitter.com/KillinchyCC/status/479930501453848576

https://twitter.com/lobsterbane/status/479917543784996864

 

The Media

Straight after the event, our Twitter traffic was enough to set #RideOnBelfast trending locally – maybe next year “sectarianism” can be beaten by cycling? Little steps..

Paul Reilly brought the UTV cameras down to see what all the fuss was about, and importantly set the day in context with a reminder of the shocking scene of a child’s bicycle under a truck at Ballyhackamore the day before. Along with the tragic death of 5 year old Conor O’Neill 9 days before, Bike Week had a strong focus on road safety and infrastructure improvement this year.

DKROB

https://twitter.com/GregorClaus/status/480273772008988672

The Irish News covered the event in its Saturday edition. Might need to check that ear-to-shorthand connection though, as ‘enthusiast’ (a word I’m almost violently resistant to when it comes to practical cycling) somehow crept into a quote. And “giro d’italia” needs capitals. #facepalm

 

The Aftermath

Ride On Belfast turned out to be a really positive, fun event and this was reflected in social media comments directly afterwards. We had new cycling commuters, people trying out cycling for the first time in years, as well as familiar faces.

https://twitter.com/BarryParke/status/479964204578136065

https://twitter.com/donnakmonteith/status/479984227816337409

https://twitter.com/theflyingfanny/status/479913575453315072

https://twitter.com/lobsterbane/status/479914027989344256

https://twitter.com/donnakmonteith/status/480053273609904128

https://twitter.com/lobsterbane/status/479922578476523521

https://twitter.com/ellenfromnowon/status/479913587113492480

https://twitter.com/ukprototype/status/479951509275566080

https://twitter.com/KillinchyCC/status/479952404700725248

In the end, the various breakaway groups which started from the Gasworks numbered 150, with close to 200 registered for the bicycle breakfast at City Hall. Overall that was a doubling of participation from 2013, which is a credit to all involved – The Fréd Festival, Travelwise (DRD) and Belfast City Council.

Building high quality separated cycle paths isn’t possible.

Belfast’s roads are too narrow.

This is one of the many default arguments against investing in the type of cycling infrastructure seen in the Netherlands or Copenhagen. Sometimes it’s worth looking at the urban landscape from a different perspective..

Decorative cobble lane, Belfast City Hall

Continue reading “Right under our noses”

Stand for a few moments in the centre of Belfast and you’ll see why many people think cycling is steadily rising here. Now official statistics from the Department for Regional Development (DRD) are beginning to support the anecdotes. The Northern Ireland Travel Survey (TSNI) 2010-12 released in July 2013 pointed to a spike in the number of cycling journeys, and now the detailed analysis lifts the lid off more headlines.

Albert Bridge cycling queue

Continue reading “Slowly, but very surely..”

Kate is from Holywood, County Down and is a staff worker for the Alliance Party. She was a regular cyclist when living in London, but since moving back to work in Belfast she finds the road environment here too dangerous, and will rarely cycle the city..

I first learned to ride when I was 5 🙂 but I’ve been cycling properly since about 2008. I own a fixed-gear road bike which my sister and her boyfriend built for me. Cycling is popular within the family, my brother does the occasional lycra-hill thing, but I don’t know how regular that is! My sister is the real cyclist in the family, she even had her own bike building company in East London at one point.

Kate - Why I Cycle

Continue reading “Kate: Why I Cycle”

John Kyle is a 61 year old GP and has been a Belfast City Councillor for just over 6 years. John talks about his love of cycling which gets him out for leisure and between his places of work..

I’ve cycled all my life, but more so the past 10 years since my knees decided they had had enough of jogging. I cycle partly for health reasons but I love the freedom cycling gives you, the sense of speed, the proximity to nature – you see so much more than when in a car. I really love the buzz I get from physical activity, and definitely love being able to bypass traffic jams.

JohnKyle

Continue reading “John: Why I Cycle”

Diarmuid is a teacher at Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, a father of 3 and a wheelchair user for nearly 30 years. He talks about how handcycling has revolutionised his daily routine to the point where he’s sold his own car. His unique experience of travelling around Belfast challenges many myths about cycling as a viable form of transport, for people of all abilities..

While in university in 1984 I suffered a spinal injury in a hill walking accident. I was at university preparing to go into teaching, so I was lucky that after taking a year out the adjustments I had to make in life didn’t throw me off my career path. I’ve been teaching in Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast for about 20 years now. It’s really encouraging to see Grosvenor trying to get a cycle to work scheme organised for the staff.

Diarmuid - Why I Cycle

Continue reading “Diarmuid: Why I Cycle”

The rise of cycling in Belfast is a welcome sign of public understanding of the flexibility and reliability of the bicycle. But scratch beneath the surface and the classic signs of a poor city environment for cycling are clear. Riding a bike is a non-exclusive activity, open and beneficial to everyone. But Belfast commuter cycling appears to be male-dominated, judging by numbers seen riding each day. What is the reality?

Part one of Socio-economics of Belfast commuter cycling looked at deprivation indicators to trace the economic fault lines in Belfast cycling. The second part Socio-economics of Belfast commuter cycling // Gender gives a quick overview of a shocking imbalance in Belfast.

Gender split in Belfast commuter cycling

Just one out of every six commuter cyclists is female.

Continue reading “Socio-economics of Belfast commuter cycling // Gender”

As part of Bike Week, local people who cycle our streets share their stories, fears and hopes. Tony, originally for Omagh but a long-time resident in Glengormley, is one of the Pro Vice-Chancellors at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), looking after planning, staffing and external affairs for the University. He explains his passion for cycling for transport and leisure..

I’ve been cycling for about a decade, and own a touring bike, a mountain bike and a road bike. I use the road bike most of the time, but occasionally take the mountain bike for a spin around Cavehill. I have 4 daughters, 2 of whom cycle fairly regularly, though one has been curtailed since her bike was stolen. Apart from the bicycle I use a motorbike – I’ve never driven a car and have no plans to start.

Tony - Why I Cycle

Continue reading “Tony: Why I Cycle”

Belfast is in the middle of a mini active travel boom, mainly driven by rising numbers of bike commuters. But Belfast suffers from structural issues which hold back cycling development, not least the physical barrier of the River Lagan. One plan to provide relief, a new pedestrian and cycling bridge linking the Gasworks site to Ormeau Park, has been largely forgotten. Why?

River Lagan from the Gasworks side

The Gasworks Bridge would span 140m between the Lagan entrance to the Gasworks Site and the Ravenhill Reach car park beside Ormeau Park. The project cost is estimated in the region of £4million to £8million. The benefits to the city have been clear for many years:

  • greater access for people in South and East Belfast to the city centre
  • making Ormeau Park a city centre park, accessible by both residents and workers, 15 minute walk from City Hall
  • provide safer pedestrian and cycling options than Albert Bridge and Ormeau Bridge
  • increase in walking and cycling with the health, leisure and transport benefits
  • further encouraging inner city regeneration with a new signature city gateway

This would be the first standalone bridge to be built in Belfast solely for cycling and walking journeys – an important signal of intention to follow through on active travel promotion. Local residents surveys have always returned positive views, with few concerns about potential interface issues. All very positive, but it seems to have dropped off the agenda.

Why is it important?

The spine of the National Cycle Network runs along the western bank of the River Lagan here, connecting a traffic-free route stretching from Lisburn to Newtownabbey, a developing connection to the Comber Greenway (and the Connswater Greenway project) and hopefully all the way to Bangor in the future. The embankment cycle tracks and shared pathways have contributed to an upsurge in active travel, with cycling flow increases of over 250% observed between 2000-2010 (PDF, 499k).

Gasworks from Ravenhill Reach
View from Ravenhill Reach looking down Gasworks / Ormeau Avenue corridor

Adding the bridge would open up east-west journeys on the National Cycle Network, increasing the potential of the Gasworks Park pathway which links almost directly into the city centre. The Gasworks Park hosts large employers like Lloyds and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, but also the Radisson SAS Hotel. The bridge would not only be a commuter and lunchtime leisure option, but also a tourist facility.

For walking journeys to work, Shaftesbury and Botanic wards lead the way with over 40% of commuter ‘traffic’ on foot. Yet just across the river there is a sharp drop-off with Woodstock and Ballynafeigh wards around 25% and Ravenhill less than 20%. Physical disconnection is at least partly responsible, with long diversions needed to reach the main employment base in the city centre.

The communities surrounding Ormeau Park are also at the forefront of the the current cycling boom. While still quite low levels compared to proper cycling cities around the world, nonetheless Woodstock, Ravenhill and Ballynafeigh are the top 3 wards in the whole of Northern Ireland by cycling commuter share at 5-6%.

© Crown Copyright Land and Property Services / Spatial NI
Commuter cycling share in wards surrounding Gasworks bridge (Census 2011)

A startling 51% of households in Woodstock have no access to a car or van (Census 2011) over double the rate of Northern Ireland as a whole. Direct traffic-free access into the city centre is both desirable and necessary here.

Belfast has seen a 60% rise in cycling commuters between 2001 and 2011. If a Gasworks Bridge contributed to a doubling of cycling levels in these top 3 wards by 2021, cycling levels would outstrip even bus commuting here, which begins to fundamentally change the inner city transport dynamics.

By upgrading cycling routes beyond Ormeau Park, across traffic-calmed residential streets towards Cregagh and Castlereagh Roads and the two Greenways, a genuine and attractive alternative to car travel becomes possible for a large part of South East Belfast. A positive impact on inner city traffic levels must be considered a key element of the bridge’s benefit.

What are the alternative cycling commuter routes?

The existing connections between the city centre and the suburbs of South and East Belfast have become scenes of cycling commuter stress and conflict. The area is poorly served by just two main access points across the Lagan a mile apart, the Ormeau Bridge and the Albert Bridge.

Side of Albert Bridge Belfast
The Albert Bridge in Belfast, a major barrier to cycling uptake in East Belfast

The Albert Bridge is awful for cycling, with it’s narrow road space, ugly crash barriers and no safe cycle space. Roads Service estimates 50% of cyclists use the narrow footpaths rather than the road. Yet as a listed bridge (built in 1890) the options for change are apparently limited.

Ormeau Bridge Belfast
The Ormeau Bridge in Belfast, possibly the busiest cycling intersection in NI

The Ormeau Bridge has a more open feel, but again has no dedicated cycling space. The ghost bike memorial for Michael Caulfield is a stark reminder of how dangerous our roads are for cycling – more so as the Ormeau bridge and embankment intersection is probably the busiest area in Northern Ireland for commuter cycling.

Why has the project faltered before?

Planners have had their eye on a bridge here for decades, but not always for a footbridge. In the rush to build for a motorised future, 1960s plans foresaw an urban motorway running around the Gasworks site and over to Ravenhill. While the motorway plan thankfully fell away in the 70’s, the idea of a more modest distributor road bridging the Lagan and running to the Ravenhill Road lingered through to the 1990s. Along with the main plan for a southern inner ring road, currently in limbo, this has contributed to urban blight through restricted development along the Bankmore corridor.

© Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence
Bankmore Street, effectively abandoned to a road scheme that never happened

Lately with the recognition that a road scheme would not be viable or attractive, and the redeveloped Gasworks site opening in 2001,  the idea of a traffic-free bridge moved up the agenda. Boosted by the inclusion in the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan 2015, it seemed obvious that the bridge would be built quickly, given the success of the wider Gasworks and Laganside projects:

“Two new pedestrian/cycle bridge crossings are proposed to serve key activity spines between the east and western sides of the River Lagan. These will improve the connection between the extension of existing riverside walkways and the more strategic sections of the pedestrian network. These bridges will be funded as part of  the regeneration of Belfast.”

Rumblings of trouble can be seen in a Belfast City Council Development Committee report from 2005, when you look at the number of ‘stakeholders’:

  • Laganside Corporation – Gasworks and riverside regeneration
  • Department for Social Development (DSD) – public realm schemes and Laganside Corporation’s sponsor
  • Belfast City Council – owner and operator of land and facilities on both sides of the river
  • Sustrans – the National Cycle Network runs through the middle of the issue
  • Department of Regional Development (DRD) – NI transport planning and infrastructure, including active travel

Lots of interested parties, but no-one to take a clear lead. It was unfortunate timing that the Laganside Corporation was wound up within 2 years of this, having reached £1 billion of investment in the city.

Lagan looking toward the Gasworks Bridge location

The last major push was around 2009, with talk of the project even being linked to the failed national stadium bid at Ormeau Park. An application for Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) Peace III funding “fell down on its demonstration of peace and reconciliation outcomes and its ability to provide a lasting legacy to the peace programme”.

If we’re relying on a 140m river crossing to be a transformative factor in community relations and breaking down sectarian divisions, what hope is there for Northern Ireland? EU Peace funding has been practically ruled out, and the reason is clear when you cut through the ‘additional’ benefits and set out the purpose of the bridge in basic terms:

The project’s most important function is to provide a new transport corridor in Belfast.

Therefore it falls squarely within the remit of DRD and their executive agency Roads Service. A Belfast City Council Development Committee report on the potential construction and maintenance of the bridge from back in 2005 shines a troublesome light on DRD active transport thinking:

“It is obvious that responsibility for the project should be taken up by Roads Service. Initial contact with Roads Service has however been met with a lukewarm response despite the rhetoric in the BMTP etc in regard to walking and cycling as valid means of transport.”

Can DRD to demonstrate they have moved beyond this point, and take ownership of a major project exclusively for active travel? Is there a golden window of opportunity given the ongoing difficulties with the A5 road project?

What is the way forward?

The recently opened Peace Bridge in Derry~Londonderry is a fantastic local example of what can be achieved for urban cycling and walking transport. Around 2,300 people use the bridge every day, and is a challenge to Belfast to replicate or exceed this impressive performance.

PeaceBridge1
The Peace Bridge in Derry~Londonderry

For an international comparison, Copenhagen is one of the leading cities in the world for urban cycling, with a journey share of around 36%. But it’s a city still trying striving to improve, and leading this charge with urban bridge building for non-motorised traffic with the Copenhagen harbour bridges project.

Gemini Residence 3
Bryggebroen cycling and pedestrian bridge in Copenhagen

The Gasworks Bridge is a key element of re-imagining and reworking central Belfast. Council plans are afoot for sweeping regeneration from the Markets area to Sandy Row and Shaftesbury Square. The bridge would open up new possibilities for commuting, leisure, shopping and social trips that aren’t really viable today. It’s easy to overplay the significance, but the bridge even has the potential to help boost the evening economy in the city.

The Gasworks Bridge is a key part of the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan 2015, which is still used to determine capital project priority in the current budget period. If the DRD Minister should wish to leave a legacy for Belfast which provides positive encouragement to reduce car journeys, he would struggle to find a better opportunity than the Gasworks Bridge.
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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtjBjgHkAAM?rel=0]

What do you think about the idea of a Gasworks Bridge? Will it encourage you to ditch the car? Comments are open below..

*** UPDATE *** 20th June 2013 *** UPDATE ***

A week is a long time in politics, and one week on from this post there is stunning news. Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy, while addressing the Politically Painless Active Travel conference in Belfast, announced he is to commission a feasibility study into the Gasworks Bridge project!

Danny Kennedy Gasworks Bridge

This is great news for the local community, active travel organisations, councillors and many others who have put in the real work over a decade to see this bridge built. Hopefully DRD / Roads Service will make swift progress, and the project’s overwhelming benefits will ensure a positive outcome. The potential to transform this part of Belfast is immense – with Belfast cycling on the rise, it seems the Gasworks Bridge’s time has come!

Recently a group of 16 cyclists from Belfast showed that the city’s cycle ‘network’ is effectively a car park. Over 5 days they encountered 878 illegally parked vehicles blocking their commuting journeys. That was an illegally parked car blocking a cycle lane every 250m. This was raised with the Department for Regional Development, the Stormont Regional Development Committee and Belfast MLAs and Councillors.

Blocked lane

This was actually the second illegal parking survey conducted by Belfast cyclists, and we received a terribly poor response last year (red light jumping – really?!). This time around, the Department have spent even less time addressing the survey, with another crushingly boring letter (with press office written all over it) ignoring the problem. The full response is attached below, but is perfectly summarised by the final sentence:

“Following your e-mail [the traffic warden contractor] NSL has been directed to continue to take enforcement action as necessary on their routine patrols during clearway periods.”

This can reasonably be boiled down to:

We are acting upon this information by doing nothing different.

DRD makes a big deal of it’s online and telephone contact points to report issues as they happen, but when faced with criticism of their system of enforcement, they’re unwilling to engage. Sitting 6 months down the line and very little has changed; night after night the same problems occur.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvqGnlhWHGs?rel=0]

The circumstances may be slightly different, but look 100 miles down the road to the Dublin City Council Beta Projects and despair that DRD can’t be more open to this kind of innovative public engagement.

Frustration is building that DRD have no interest in looking at this issue, and by association, no interest in the safe operation of the existing cycle lane ‘network’. The survey team will be seeking a meeting with DRD to address cyclists’ real concerns, to try to move the issue forward:

  • Does DRD recognise there is a particular issue of importance being raised here?
  • Does DRD feel it is acceptable for the level of illegal blocking of cycle lanes to be happening under its watch?
  • What is the typical number of NSL staff deployed to patrol the city centre parking zone each weekday (09.00-18.00)?
  • By comparison what is the typical number of NSL staff deployed on arterial routes each weekday evening during urban clearway operation (16.30-18.00)?
  • How does DRD/NSL track the operational coverage of wardens on arterial routes?
  • How are the effectiveness of the new scooter wardens / clamp and tow truck assessed?
  • What are the performance measures for NSL?
  • What is being done to address the ‘hot spots’ identified in the 2 surveys, for example Shankill, Springfield, Castlereagh, Cregagh and Crumlin roads?
  • What further engagement with local businesses on arterial urban clearway routes has happened / is planned since the Parking Do’s and Don’ts leaflet?

Although no-one’s betting the house on that meeting happening..

DRD / NSL Clamp and Tow Truck

The Reclaim Belfast’s Cycle Lanes team and a growing number of local cyclists are not championing on-road advisory cycle lanes – in fact they are increasingly recognised as outdated, unsafe, and do nothing to encourage more people to cycle. Indeed the urban clearways rules, as referenced in DRD’s letter, mean it’s perfectly fine to block a cycle lane for 2 minutes at a time to set down / pick up passengers. These may be cycle lanes by name, but they are crafted around the needs of motor vehicles and cyclists are not the most important users.

However, until DRD open their eyes to best practice from the Netherlands, Copenhagen and others, it’s practically all we have. If DRD want to crow about their £9 million investment in Belfast cycling infrastructure, then along with Roads Service and NSL they have a responsibility to keep the lanes clear when they’re meant to carry cyclists. No-one is prepared to admit the problem, so no-one is taking responsibility to sort it out.

……………………………………………………………………………………………

Illegal Parking in Cycle Lanes

Thank you for your recent email about illegal parking in cycle lanes in Belfast during morning and evening clearway periods.

As you will be aware, NSL provides parking enforcement on behalf of Roads Service and routinely deploys Traffic Attendants to patrol the main arterial routes in Belfast during the morning and evening clearway periods. Traffic Attendants will take enforcement action if they detect vehicles parked in contravention of enforceable restrictions.

Roads Service’s records for Belfast show that in 2012, during clearway periods, 5528 Penalty Charge Notices (Parking Tickets) were issued to vehicles parked on the carriageway and a further 363 to vehicles parked on the footway. It is not possible to separate Parking Tickets issued to vehicles parked in cycle lanes as they would be issued for the clearway contravention.

During clearway periods vehicles are permitted to set down and pick up passengers, however they cannot simply park. If a vehicle is detected by a Traffic Attendant as parked during clearway times and the driver is in the vehicle they will be afforded the opportunity to drive away and park legally elsewhere, however, unattended vehicles should be issued with a Parking Ticket.

During clearway periods it can be difficult for Traffic Attendants to deal with short term parking as vehicles often park for a few minutes only, or they may drive away before a Parking Ticket is issued, or the Traffic Attendant may be patrolling another location when these vehicles park.

As part of the new Parking Enforcement contract which commenced in October 2012 Roads Service has also introduced a number of new initiatives including;

  • The distribution of parking information leaflets to the public detailing the Do’s and Don’ts when parking their vehicle, including clearways, bus lanes and cycle lanes. (copy attached)
  • The development of a Parking Enforcement Protocol, which provides the public with detailed information on all the parking contraventions, including bus lanes, cycle lanes and clearways, this is available on NI Direct website: Travel, transport and Roads / Parking and parking enforcement section.
  •  The Introduction of scooters specifically for clearway enforcement patrols. These provide greater flexibility, can cover greater distances and should provide more effective enforcement.

Roads Service does respond to requests for additional enforcement, subject to resources, if there are locations where there is persistent parking during clearway periods. Following your e-mail NSL has been directed to continue to take enforcement action as necessary on their routine patrols during clearway periods.

I trust this information is of assistance to you.

Parking Enforcement Manager (Acting)