Cameras to catch car drivers on Princes St bus lanes

Cars are banned from travelling along large chunks of Princes Street. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Cars are banned from travelling along large chunks of Princes Street. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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BUS lane cameras are set to be introduced on Princes Street in a bid to crack down on drivers flouting the road’s traffic ban.

Proposals expected to go before councillors next week could see up to five camera sites placed along the length of the street – with those caught breaking the rules handed fines of up to £60.

The move comes as part of a wider roll-out of camera enforcement areas and new bus lanes across the city.

Last year, the council raked in £776,000 in fines after more than 25,000 drivers were hit in the pocket for bus lane infringements – roughly one every 20 minutes.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport convener, said Princes Street was a “unique” area where visitors were encouraged to spend time shopping and taking in the sights, with public transport the priority.

General traffic is banned from most of the length of the street, except to load and unload goods between 8pm and 7am.

But weekday video surveys carried out by the council earlier this year found there were around 160 infringements of this restriction every day – with city officials insisting bus lane cameras were the only way to enforce the ban.

Under the new plans – which would take up to 18 months to implement and would be “self-funded” by the fines raised – two cameras will be rotated between four or five sites on the street, with dummies also brought in to keep drivers on their toes.

Four other sites are also pegged to have bus lane cameras introduced by the end of the year – Calder Road eastbound, Duddingston Park South northbound, Liberton Road northbound and Lothian Road southbound.

Video surveys carried out in March found more than 250 drivers breaking bus lane bans every day across these four sites during peak periods. Elsewhere, new bus lanes could be brought in at the south end of Maybury Road, North Junction Street, the east end of Ferry Road, Gilmerton Road, Liberton Brae and Liberton Gardens, and at Waterloo Place, Regent Road and Montrose Terrace.

A boom in housing developments on the city’s fringes could also see new bus lanes in Kaimes, Gillespie Crossroads and Barnton.

The proposals will be discussed by councillors next Tuesday. Cllr Hinds said: “This is all part of our review of the bus lane network, which plays an essential part in promoting the use of public transport in Edinburgh, as well as keeping traffic moving.

“Future analysis will allow us to find out which parts of Edinburgh will benefit.”