Two of m’colleagues are discussing banning cars in the centre of Belfast. A quarter-mile radius where only buses & delivery vehicles are permitted. Build massive out-of-town car parks. First they wanted to make the buses free within the exclusion zone, but then they decided that the buses should not be free so as to incentivise bike travel.
Yesterday in the news, there were reports that Belfast is in crisis and has run out of office space. Invest NI commissioned the report after commercial agents warned of this “crisis”.
These are the same commercial agents who have hundreds of empty office units on their books across the city and who refuse to invest in their own future by renovating existing empty properties and are now demanding public funds to build brand new buildings while their existing empty stock meanders towards dereliction.
How’s about this: instead of having our rapidly shrinking economy milked further in the name of “attracting investment”, how’s about our business leaders start putting their money where their mouths are; invest in upgrading your own properties, develop existing derelict or abandoned spaces as inexpensive multi-story car-parks, and enact a strictly enforced ban on on-street parking with the city centre’s quarter-mile and on any designated bus lane.