Edinburgh council makes an eye-watering £1m revenue from bus lane fines

Edinburgh City Council was among the highest earning cities in the UK when it came issuing bus lane fines in 2020/21 – and even during lockdown gathered more than £1million from motorists in the Capital.

It comes as the council presses ahead with proposals for the city’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.

New research from Moneybarn has revealed the councils making the most revenue from issuing bus lane fines.

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By issuing Freedom of Information requests, the finance and loan organisation were been able to record the data on bus lane Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for 51 councils around the UK.

Edinburgh City Council was amongst the highest earning cities in the UK when it came issuing bus lane fines in 2020/21.

Edinburgh came eighth on the list, with the council raking in a total of £1,094,585 from 36,492 fines issued.

Manchester council was the local authority making the most revenue from bus lane fines, with an eye-watering £3.7million in revenue.

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Barnet council was in second place, with £2.9 million in revenue, followed by Lambeth with £2.7 million.

Glasgow and Birmingham ranked fourth and fifth, with annual revenue over £2.1 million each.

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Unsurprisingly, three of the top five councils earning the most revenue issued the most fines: Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.

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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”.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

Which vehicles can and cannot use bus lanes in Edinburgh?

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Bus lanes and bus gates in the Capital can only be used by certain vehicles at specific times.

Details of permitted vehicles and times are shown on signs at the start of each bus lane and bus gate.

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24 hour bus lanes in Edinburgh

Johnston Terrace

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Bread Street

Inglis Green Road

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Ocean Terminal

A90, west of Barnton Junction.

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General traffic cannot use these at any time. They are for buses, taxis and cyclists only.

Bus gates

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These are located at

The Jewel

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Prestonfield Avenue

Little France Drive

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Kirklands Park Street

Bankhead Drive.

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Peak time bus lanes generally operate from 7.30am to 9.30am and 4pm to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday. During these times, only these vehicles may use them:

- public service vehicles

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- taxis, but not private hire vehicles

- motorcycles

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- pedal cycles

- emergency service vehicles.

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Any vehicle may use bus lanes outside the peak times during the week and at all times at weekends.

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