A MAJOR crackdown on drivers using bus lanes to beat the traffic will see controversial enforcement cameras deployed at all main roads across the city, the News can reveal.
Ten extra cameras are set to be installed at Greenways with significant levels of traffic, with “dummy” devices also due to be mounted to “maximise the deterrent”.
It comes a year after a first tranche of surveillance equipment was introduced into Capital bus lanes, sparking outcry when thousands of drivers were erroneously fined by two cameras at Willowbrae Road.
Four weeks after the project went live, transport chiefs were forced to waive every penalty charge issued on the troubled route.
Currently, five cameras are in operation across six sites, with two fixed spots at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary public transport link road and Kirkliston.
The additional devices will be introduced gradually if given the green light by councillors on June 4.
Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds insisted “lessons had been learned” from the Willowbrae Road debacle – where enforcement has been suspended amid a change to the bus lane layout – and said the scheme would be welcomed by motorists, bus companies and cyclists.
She said: “I think the majority of the public are supportive of it because the principle is to allow buses to be able to get in and out of the city more easily.
“If you want to make a choice to get out of your car and on to a bus you will get into the city easier.
“And people understand that you have to enforce this or else it will be ignored. Since we first introduced it [last year] people don’t go into bus lanes any more and it keeps the traffic flowing.”
A report into the initial enforcement stage shows a “significant reduction in the level of bus lane infringements”, with a total annual decrease of 90 per cent.
Cllr Hinds said the move – already operating in Aberdeen and Glasgow – was part of a wider drive to improve air quality in the city by encouraging motorists to use public transport and slash journey times.
If wrongly fined for a bus lane infringement, motorists can have the penalty quashed through an appeal process similar to parking tickets.
To warn drivers when Greenway enforcement is in operation, it has been proposed that flashing bus lane signs are installed – a process which could take six months pending Scottish Government approval.
The rate at which the new cameras will be introduced is dependent on how many fines are meted out. A report into the project reads: “The cost of expansion should be self funding and rate of expansion would depend on funds being made available from future bus lane camera enforcement surpluses.”
The current Edinburgh bus network is 65km in length.
In the picture
A1 London Road/Willowbrae corridor
A7 Bridges-Old Dalkeith Road corridor
A701 Liberton Road-Straiton Park & Ride corridor
A702 Lothian Road-Comiston Road corridor
A71 Gorgie Road-Hermiston Park & Ride corridor
A70 Slateford Road corridor
Gyle-Stevenson Drive-Western Approach corridor
A8 Glasgow Road corridor (Airport/Ingliston Park & Ride)
A90 Queensferry Road corridor
A900 Leith Walk/A901 Great Junction Street corridor