Grid­lock Belfast: city’s traf­fic chaos re­vealed from the air

Belfast Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

TRAF­FIC ground to a stand­still across Belfast yes­ter­day as a com­bi­na­tion of bro­ken down ve­hi­cles, lo­calised flood­ing and con­cert-go­ers brought grid­lock to the city.

A stun­ning drone image by Belfast Tele­graph pho­tog­ra­pher Kevin Scott cap­tured the chaos as night fell.

The city’s Westlink jammed up fol­low­ing a break­down un­der the Broad­way round­about, while on the M1 a lorry shed its load on the main car­riage­way.

Belfast Har­bour Po­lice were also called in to di­rect traf­fic af­ter a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent on the mo­tor­way, while an evening per­for­mance by top Scots fun­ny­man Kevin Bridges at the SSE Arena also con­trib­uted to the may­hem.

But fum­ing mo­torists weren’t laugh­ing, many tak­ing to so­cial me­dia to vent their anger.

Laura McNally tweeted: “Took me 30 min­utes to do 1 mile on New­tow­nards road... car at the bot­tom block­ing the left lane then the rest is ex­plained by Kevin Bridges... thank you!”

Ti­tanic Quar­ter was also heav­ily con­gested. Soft­ware qual­ity con­sul­tant Rob McCon­nell posted: “Traf­fic at a stand­still again in TQ. Not con­ducive to run­ning a busi­ness or re­tain­ing staff! If only com­mon sense could pre­vail and har­bour po­lice take some ini­tia­tive to bet­ter man­age?”

Larne man Stephen McAlis­ter fumed: “It took me two and a half hours to get from New­cas­tle to Larne. Left New­cas­tle at 3.30 and got home at 6.”

Last year, re­search from TomTom found driv­ers spend around 200 hours a year on the roads around Belfast — mean­ing mo­torists lose an es­ti­mated 25 work­ing days be­hind the wheel. Av­er­age jour­neys in Belfast were 43% longer than they should be, the sat­nav firm said.

The con­ges­tion hits the lo­cal econ­omy hard, with the to­tal cost of grid­lock to Belfast alone in 2017 es­ti­mated at £140m, ac­cord­ing to a study by trans­port an­a­lyt­ics firm INRIX.

The A1 — Up­per Lis­burn Road and Belfast Road — south­bound from Col­lege Gar­dens in Belfast was the sixth worst con­gested in the UK, with driv­ers each spend­ing 49 hours in grid­lock last year, ac­cord­ing to INRIX. The worst five were in Lon­don. The Ormeau Road head­ing into Ann Street was just three places be­hind Belfast’s A1.


Traf­fic bumper-to-bumper around Dun­bar Link and War­ing Street last night


Aerial views of thetraf­fic chaos in Belfast last night

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