Bus lanes could be enforced 12 hours a day, every day of the week in Edinburgh
Consultation into changing bus lane hours will open tomorrow.
All day bus lanes could be introduced in the Capital if a public consultation backs the idea.
Edinburgh City Council are looking at the possibility of introducing 7am to 7pm bus lanes which would operate seven days a week as part of moves to increase the use of public transport.
The changes are also intended to speed up bus journey times, encourage people to leave their cars at home, reduce congestion and improve air quality.
Under current rules, bus lanes in the Capital operate during peak hours between 7.30am to 9.30am and 4pm to 6.30pm during the working week and do not operate at the weekend.
However, the consultation - due to launch on Thursday - will ask the public whether they support the extension to the bus lane hours.
The council have said the proposals are due to a slow-down in public transport travel times over the last decade with bus travel in the city taking longer regardless of when you travel.
Travelling by bus now takes 12 per cent longer during peak hours and 14 per cent outside of those hours than in 2006, the council said, with many routes busier on the weekend than during the week.
Increased passenger numbers and higher congestion, most clearly felt during the Festival this year, have been blamed for that slow-down.
'Essential to incentivise public transport'
Transport and environment convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said it was "essential" to make bus travel easier.
She said: “It’s essential that we incentivise public transport as a reliable, accessible choice. We aim to make travel by bus easier and even more attractive, in turn reducing high levels of congestion caused by single occupancy car use and its associated impact on air quality.
“Bus travel is one of the most efficient ways for large numbers of people to move easily around the city, in stark contrast to the space taken up by private cars. Car ownership in cities across Europe is falling as more and more people vote with their feet to take more sustainable public transport options.
“We want to know what people think of bus lane hours at the moment, and how changing the hours would affect them. I would encourage people to take part in our consultation - by letting us know what they think, participants will help us strike the right balance for people travelling in and around the city.”
The bus lane operational hours consultation will open on Thursday, 31 October and close on Friday 22 November, and can be completed on the Council’s consultation hub.