Bus lane fines rocket by more than 60 per cent in a year in Edinburgh as number cameras shot up during lockdown

The number of drivers fined for illegally driving in bus lanes has increased by more than 60 per cent in a year, as the number of cameras shot up during lockdown.

PIC: Malcolm McCurrach
Bus lane fines rocket by 60 per cent
PIC: Malcolm McCurrach Bus lane fines rocket by 60 per cent

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Annual figures revealed a record £11 million in bus lane fines across Scotland were dished out last year, with 54,000 motorists clocked in Edinburgh – a 60 per cent increase on the year before,

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In total there were more than 180,000 fines issued in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen combined – around one every three minutes.

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The number of fines issued for driving in lanes reserved to help buses beat traffic congestion was up almost 30 per cent on the year before.

Meanwhile, the number of cameras operating to catch drivers who strayed into the lanes also rose by more than 50 per cent in the past two years.

It comes as the city council presses ahead with proposals for Edinburgh’s low emission zone, which will ban those vehicles failing to meet strict emission standards from a 1.2 square mile area of the city centre.

Critics said the “proliferation” of cameras was no surprise as local authorities look to top up their income from motorists who were committing “victimless crimes”.

Figures obtained by The Scottish Mail on Sunday also show the number of bus lane fines issued in Glasgow was around 80,000 and 49,000 in Aberdeen, more than double the previous year’s figure.

The £60 fines are reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days and increased to £90 if unpaid after 28 days.

The AA’s Luke Bosdet said: "Bearing in mind how ruthless Scottish local authorities have been in enforcing bus lane fines, the threat of even more fines should send a shiver down the spines of drivers in Scotland.”

Brian Gregory, policy director at the Alliance of British Drivers, said the signage was often confusing.

He said: “Many drivers don’t realise they are in a bus lane until they have encroached and incurred a fine.”

But council chiefs have defended the bus lane fines, stating the prime aim of the restrictions is not generating revenue, but rather ensuring a managed flow of traffic.

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Edinburgh City Council’s transport and environment convener, said: “Bus lane enforcement is vital in discouraging misuse of bus lanes by drivers which increases bus journey times.”

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