First working week of 20mph limit in Belfast begins

The 20mph restrictions in Belfast came into effect on Sunday
The 20mph restrictions in Belfast came into effect on Sunday

Thousands of motorists will get their first experience of Belfast’s new 20mph city centre speed limits this morning.

The new restriction came into effect yesterday but the influx of workers into the city for the start of the working week will be its first real test.

It will be one of five pilot 20mph zones introduced in Northern Ireland.

Despite being billed as a ‘pilot’ scheme, the DRD said that the new speed limits will be permanent.

They may also be introduced to other areas too, depending on the scheme’s success.

In its press release announcing the move, the department said a “widespread consultation” took place before Christmas.

However when the News Letter asked to see the responses, it said the process had been an “informal consultation”, not a formal one, with a spokeswoman saying that the plan had been advertised in newspapers, with readers then having a chance to write in about it.

The DRD hopes the plan will improve safety, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists, without “any undue inconvenience for car drivers”.

The other 20mph speed limits introduced as part of this initiative are in Newtownabbey, Ballynahinch, Ballymena and Ballycastle.