These were the scenes in Belfast City Center at 5.30p.m. today following a tragic and fatal accident that occurred at 1.45p.m. The whole of the center of Belfast was at a virtual standstill while main routes into the city were backed up for miles. Traffic hold-ups eventually began to clear about 7.30p.m.
For years Belfast has been brought to a standstill by car bombs, bomb hoaxes, paramilitary and political protests but in the past these have been at a number of points around the city, so you would think that by now the security forces would know how to control traffic to avoid disruption. As I left my bus to walk into the city center, to catch a connecting bus, I thought that perhaps the motorway had been closed to allow a motorcade for some important personage to travel to the city without hindrance. Why did this one incident affect so much of the city for so long? This must surely show total incompetence on the part of the authorities who, although investigating a fatal accident, could not deal quickly or efficiently with something that surely should have been routine. We have witnessed other more serious accidents (more serious only because of the numbers involved) - so why was this so different that it caused traffic congestion for hours with many people having to walk to their destinations and I am sure many more must have missed flights from both of the Belfast airports.