Annual Edinburgh bus lane fines rocket to record £1.4m

Edinburgh City Council said its bus lanes were clearly marked. Picture: Malcolm McCurrachEdinburgh City Council said its bus lanes were clearly marked. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Edinburgh City Council said its bus lanes were clearly marked. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
The number of drivers fined for illegally driving in lanes reserved to help buses beat the capital’s traffic congestion has increased by more than 70 per cent in a year, newly-published figures showed today.

They paid a total of £1.352 million in fines in 2019, the last full year before the Covid lockdowns.

That compared to £788,522 in 2018, according to freedom of information figures obtained by insurer

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However, separate Edinburgh City Council figures showed fines increased in the 2019-20 financial year, to the end of March 2020, to £1.375m – the highest since they were introduced in 2012.

They came as new Transport Scotland statistics showed bus passengers fell by a further 3 per cent in 2019 and down by 25 per cent since 2007-08.

Operators have blamed congestion as a major factor.

The figure for Edinburgh's 15 cameras was increased by new ones in Liberton Road, which were responsible for £263,000 of the fines.

Previously-published Edinburgh City Council figures showed this increased to £297,000 in the eight months to February 2020.

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Calder Road cameras were responsible for £256,000 of the 2019 fines, and those in Little France Drive £179,000.

Confused said a poll of 2,000 UK drivers showed more than a third had appealed their fines.

A third of those who appealed blamed unclear signs, with nearly as many blaming poor road markings.

The survey also found three in four of drivers paid a reduced or no fine when they appealed.

There were 46 appeals among 49,620 Edinburgh cases in 2019.

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Confused has called for some of the fines income to be used for clearer signs and exemptions for first-time offenders.

But city council transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “Bus lane enforcement is key to discouraging the misuse of bus lanes, which helps reduce bus journey times, benefiting the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on their bus service for safe, punctual transport during peak hours.

”It also helps protect the safety of the many cyclists who use bus lanes every day.

“Our bus lanes are clearly signed and only drivers who contravene restrictions will be issued with a charge notice.

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"All of the income from parking and bus lane enforcement is invested back into our roads and transport infrastructure, including public transport and active travel [walking, cycling and wheeling] improvements.”

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