‘Can the rules be applied with common sense?’

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roadside cameras usually rank alongside soaring petrol prices and over- zealous parking wardens as motorists’ least favourite things.

But most will be prepared to make an exception for the new camera network set to be installed on the city’s Greenways – on one strict condition.

It may be too much to ask, especially in a city where the private parking attendants hired by the city council have justifiably earned the nickname The Enforcers, but we will ask the question all the same.

Can the rules be applied with a modicum of common sense on this occasion?

Most drivers are ready to accept that buses have priority on these routes for a good reason. It is only through measures such as this that the Capital can enjoy a fast and efficient bus service, which stops our roads getting clogged up with even more cars.

What will worry them is that the new system will lead to tickets being dished out indiscriminately. Council officials expect a bare minimum of at least 2000 fines to be issued each year, with the total more likely to be more than double that.

If drivers are blatantly breaking the rules, then fair enough – but most play by them. And their blood boils when they have to watch other drivers queue jump and get away with it.

In London, when a similar system was brought in drivers found themselves fined for crossing a bus lane when it was the only way to drive out of a local garage. Who would bet against the same happening, for instance, at Jock’s Lodge where the bus lane is also the route for motorists heading to Piershill?

So, bring in the cameras by all means, but, please, do it with a bit of common sense.

Canvas opinion

A spiegeltent in the middle of George Street will be a great addition to Edinburgh’s Festival line-up.

And the venue will be all the more enticing if the streets on either side are traffic-free.

But how much will the loss of parking spaces disrupt the rest of the day-to-day business of the street? And how will Queen Street cope if more even traffic is funnelled down it in order to pedestrianise the central part of George Street?

Revitalising the city centre is such a big job, and the pain which comes with getting it wrong is so great, that it is worth proceeding with caution. Testing the water for a short time during the Festival makes a lot of sense. Like everyone else, we will be watching developments with great interest.