In Northern Ireland, courier drivers got an early Christmas present with the implementation of the annual ban on roadworks on high traffic routes into some of its major cities – meaning smoother, less congested travel for delivery workers' at their most demanding time of the year. |
For these busy workers, the ban on work means they'll be able to fulfil their courier contract obligations without the fear of losing time and money caused by traffic delays due to roadworks. Ongoing roadworks are an unfortunate fact of life in urban areas, so it seems that, in the true spirit of Christmas, this may be the sign of a minor miracle!
The Spirit of Goodwill
Executed for the past 17 years in Northern Ireland, the ban is a voluntary initiative put in place by Transport NI and the utility companies, who have placed an embargo on all but absolutely unavoidable roadworks on major routes into Londonderry, Lisburn and Belfast. Northern Ireland's Transport Minister, Michelle McIlveen, announced that the ban would start in December through to January 4th, to encompass the busy festive period and into the New Year.
Benefits for Delivery Workers…
The FTA (Freight Transport Association) welcomed the ban, saying it takes the pressure off transport operators at a very opportune time. With many courier contracts being time-sensitive (and especially so over the Christmas period), drivers will be able to rely on the smooth flow of traffic in these areas, facilitating the speedy carriage of goods in and out of Belfast, Londonderry and Lisburn.
…and for Everyone Else
Shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues all experience elevated trading over the Christmas and New Year period, so it’s essential they're able to maintain their stock levels to keep up with the consumers’ demand at this time of the year. The FTA says that while it eases the pressure on drivers fulfilling courier contracts, it's not only its members who benefit from this annual initiative, and that it comes as a relief to all citizens and business owners.
While the FTA welcomes the continuing ban on non-essential roadworks over the festive period, Policy and Membership Manager for Northern Ireland, Seamus Lehney, says that more could still be done to reduce congestion. He suggested that increasing the amount of HGV loading bays (particularly in Belfast) would further improve the situation. Whether authorities will respond to his suggestion remains to be seen.
The roadworks ban initiative has been such a success over the past 17 years, that other major cities in the UK may follow Northern Ireland's example.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. If you're looking for a courier contract, Courier Exchange has over 4,000 transport exchange businesses networked together through their website, trading courier jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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