Following various emails to island MHK's (Douglas, Onchan, Garff, Middle and Ramsey) it would appear that concerns regarding the Bus/Cycle Lane are very widespread. Some MHK's have approached the Minister for Infrastructure (Tim Baker) raising concerns and requesting further information and a meeting was held with the Minister, the D.O.I and Douglas and Onchan MHK's to discuss the various issues. I am told that some suggestions were made and that the D.O.I. is to come back to the table with feedback. At this stage, nothing really of any substance.
THERE WILL BE A DEMONSTRATION TOMORROW (Tuesday 21st July) OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT OFFICES BETWEEN 8am and 12pm. This is an iniative by island Taxi drivers - it is important to note that they are not demonstrating to achieve Taxi access to the Bus/Cycle Lane - they are demonstrating to seek the outright removal of it. Please do attend if you are able to give up any of your time - or if you are driving past Government Offices, please do 'honk your horn' to show your support.
As things stand, the Bus/Cycle Lane remains insitu, however, how it came into being in the first place raises MANY questions with regard to Corporate Governance and accountability.
This lane appeared overnight and it was implemented WITHOUT any consultation with the public, with our elected representative MHK's, with the Police - not only that, it was implemented without having completed the necessary planning approval/processes which were completed retrospectively, which is why the Police were unable to enforce the lane (power to issue fines, etc) until some time AFTER the lane was instated. The order for the bus lane was applied for 10 days after it was implemented and it came into force a full 17 days after it was implemented.
Could we do that if we wanted to extend our house? Drop the kerb outside our house for easier access?? (etc) No. We could not. We would be expected to follow due process.
This does rather beg the question... to whom is the D.O.I. accountable?
With no public support, with no Police support, with no MHK support and in fact with NO LEGAL BASIS, the D.O.I. are apparently able to decide 'on a whim' to do whatever takes their fancy (paint up new Bus/Cycle Lanes) and apparently nobody can do anything about it.
So, I repeat - to whom is the D.O.I. accountable????
Please do share this update and please do attend Government Offices (or honk your horn) tomorrow morning to demonstrate your support for the removal of this Bus/Cycle Lane. Thanks