Comment: Council must spread bus lane message

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the Greenways have been one of Edinburgh’s great transport successes of recent times.

They are one of the cornerstones of Lothian Buses’ ongoing and growing popularity, helping make bus travel one of the quickest and easiest ways to get around the Capital.

The use of spy camera enforcement may not have been executed in an entirely fair way but the principle of protecting the lanes from queue jumpers at peak times was always sound.

The bus lanes work well at peak times and deserve to be protected.

But it was always a bugbear with the system that cars were banned from many of the Greenway lanes throughout the day, even when they weren’t really needed.

Outside of peak times the bus lanes have tended simply to create congestion for no good reason. Forcing motorists to queue in a single lane while every once in a while a bus used the other one, for most of the day the Greenway stood completely empty.

That is frustrating for drivers and bad for the environment, with queuing traffic creating more pollution.

The opening up of all-day Greenways to other traffic at off-peak times is a very welcome move. It is an all too rare example of simple common sense.

But lifting the ban is only the first step. The city needs to spread the message to drivers to ensure that people understand the new system.

It is perfectly understandable after all those bus lane fines have been handed out that motorists are wary of going anywhere near them. They either don’t realise that they can now use them at certain times of day, or if they are unsure they err on the side of caution.

We will only see the full benefit of the latest changes when more drivers are educated about when they can and can’t use the bus lanes.

In the meantime, those drivers who are in the know can enjoy almost clear lanes to themselves, safe in the knowledge that they are doing the right thing by using all of the road that is open to them.