SDLP councillor Carl Whyte has welcomed confirmation of a six-month extension to the pedestrianisation of Union Street in Belfast city centre.
The current scheme will be extended for six months from June 11, then a decision will be taken on whether to make the scheme permanent.
The Department for Infrastructure confirmed the extension in response to an Assembly question from the SDLP.
Councillor Whyte said:
“Since Union Street was pedestrianised by the SDLP’s Nichola Mallon it has given a boost to both local businesses and customers alike, providing a new space for them to consume products purchased nearby or to simply sit and relax while going about their day.
“This a bustling and thriving part of our city centre and this pedestrianisation alongside the other improvements in terms of lighting and street furniture has really added to the experience of everyone visiting this area. Keeping this area free of vehicles also contributes to public safety, with large numbers of people gathering and visiting hospitality businesses in the vicinity, particularly at weekends.
“I am glad the success of the initial scheme has been recognised and hope to see these benefits retained permanently at the end of the year. I also welcome confirmation that a proposal for the pedestrianisation of Hill Street will be finalised shortly and would like to see other parts of our city centre considered for this scheme. Spaces like this have proved hugely successful in major cities across the world and Belfast can benefit from adopting that model.”