Edinburgh bus lanes set to become operational seven days a week from 7am to 7pm

Bus lanes in the Capital are all set to operate from 7am until 7pm seven days a week in a bid to make public transport more attractive.

By Ian Swanson
Friday, 1st July 2022, 4:55 am

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Councillors agreed to call for a report to the transport committee in October with a clear timeline for universal “7/7/7” operation.

Transport convener Scott Arthur said the move would help make buses more reliable. And he signalled more enforcement and an expansion of bus lanes ahead.

He said: "As we come out of Covid, the rush hour time is stretching over a longer period so it makes sense to look at bus lane operation times again.

"And we need a consistent approach to bus lane times so people are sure when they operate and when they don’t.

"It’s about being clear and consistent and having bus lanes there to ensure public transport can actually shift people about. Over the next five to ten years we’re going to see big expansions of public transport and part of getting people to use that is people seeing it is reliable and bus lanes are part of that.

"We’re also going to talk much more about bus lane enforcement and dealing much more effectively with people who are parking in bus lanes and blocking them.

Most bus lanes are currently peak-hours only. Picture Ian Rutherford

"And before the end of the year we’ll be looking at expanding bus lanes to increase capacity and new park and ride.”

Green councillor Chas Booth, who proposed the change at full council, said most bus lanes were currently peak-hours only.

He said: "The crucial issue behind this is about trying to make buses more reliable, make the journeys quicker and make them more attractive and that will encourage more people to use the buses and fewer people to use cars, so it’s about reducing the congestion and air pollution that comes with excessive traffic.

"If this is the right thing to do for the city, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for improving air quality then we need to crack on and do it, especially now as bus operators had such a tough time during the pandemic.

"Car drivers often have a perception bus lanes are holding them up, but in fact bus lanes, if they operate effectively, can reduce congestion because they make it more attractive for people to move from car to bus.”

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