Steve Cardownie: Bus lane hours extension not the route to go

Susan Dalgety said that should we not claim her free bus, despite being over 60. Picture: Jane Barlow
Susan Dalgety said that should we not claim her free bus, despite being over 60. Picture: Jane Barlow
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It is well known what a great bus service Lothian Buses is and the company has won many awards over the years in recognition of their record as the lead transport provider in the city.

There is no doubt that it is much valued by the Edinburgh public but the latest call by the company’s managing director, Richard Hall, for bus lane hours to be extended is a step too far and should be resisted.

Bus lane operation times were reduced only a couple of years ago after it was demonstrated that for long periods during the day they were almost devoid of buses, yet cars and lorries were being held up in traffic jams in the adjacent lanes. Motorists are citizens too and their views have to be taken into account.

It is all very well for Mr Hall to seek to advance his company’s interests but not at the expense of people who choose not to use public transport and prefer to use their cars.

That is their right and if the desired aim is to reduce car use then motorists should be persuaded of the benefits and not forced to use public transport by making their lives more difficult.

Lothian Buses is publicly owned and is there to provide a service which sets it apart from other bus companies that constantly strive to boost profits.

Ignoring, or worse dismissing, the legitimate concerns of car drivers is not the way to progress transport provision in the city.