‘This is a test of the fairness of the regime’

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The full impact of the city’s crackdown on motorists driving in bus lanes is only now starting to become clear as fines begin dropping through letterboxes.

Some drivers are suddenly finding themselves facing a whole pile of £60 penalty notices after being caught out by the cameras on a daily basis.

Many of them will be finally getting their comeuppance after years of jumping traffic queues and generally playing the system. This newspaper has no sympathy for them.

The bus lanes exist for a good reason and the rules governing them ought to be enforced – but it has to be done fairly.

Alongside the flagrant cheats, another type of “offender” is already starting to emerge.

These are drivers who play by the rules and are still being hit with fines.

The woman who was ticketed before the bus lanes were even supposed to be in operation, the minibus driver who suddenly discovers his vehicle is no longer being classified as a “bus”.

And the unfortunate residents of Willowbrae Avenue also fall into this category.

They are being repeatedly fined for cutting across the corner of the bus lane on Willowbrae Road as they attempt to turn safely into their own street.

These drivers are patently not the “hard core” of flagrant offenders who the city is trying to target.

Former traffic policeman and current city councillor Stefan Tymkewycz, who has studied the junction, believes the fines being imposed there are not only unfair, but also potentially dangerous.

The sharp turn that drivers would have to execute to avoid the bus lane altogether could threaten the safety of road users.

This is the first real test of the fairness of the new bus lane enforcement regime.

The positioning of the camera at that junction must be reviewed urgently. Otherwise the fairness of the whole system will be called into question.

Jewel shines on

anyone who has visited the magnificent ruins of Mavisbank House – or watched Griff Rhys-Jones’ TV appeal for it to be saved – will be delighted to see a deal struck to secure its future.

It is never easy to find ways to bring crumbling properties back to life, but with holiday flats and a public park planned there is realistic vision for the Midlothian mansion.

Well done to everyone involved in saving this little-known jewel.