Two new bus lane cameras in Edinburgh raise £297,000 from fines in eight months

Call for review of Liberton Road site

Bus lanes brought in £683,346 in fines for the council in 2018/19
Bus lanes brought in £683,346 in fines for the council in 2018/19

NEW bus lane cameras on Liberton Road have netted the council almost £297,000 in less than a year of operation.

The figure is equivalent to more than 40 per cent of the total sum raised by fines from all Edinburgh’s bus lane cameras in the most recent 12-month period for which details are available.

And today a motoring organisation called for the site to be reviewed because it was not doing its job of deterring drivers from using the bus lane.

The two Liberton Road cameras, one facing each direction, raised a total of £296,980 in the eight months between June 17, 2019 and February 15, 2020.

The southbound camera was operating for all that time, but the northbound camera only went live in December, so was in operation for less than three months.

Fines for all bus lane cameras in the Capital in 2018/19 totalled £683, 346.50.

Neil Greig, policy and research officer at IAM Roadsmart, said: “To my mind this is a total failure - a bus lane camera is supposed to keep people out of bus lanes in order to allow the buses to run freely. If you’re catching that many people then clearly there’s something wrong with the signposting or the road markings because, particularly in Edinburgh, people are well used to bus lane cameras. I’m amazed there is one particular set of cameras making so much money.”

He said he was not against the cameras. “There’s nothing more annoying for the law-abiding driver than to see someone nipping up the inside and getting away with it. The ideal bus lane camera should catch nobody because the message is clear, the signposting is clear and it’s a consistent message.

“Something seems to have gone wrong here. They need to review this particular site as matter of urgency and find out why it’s catching so many people because it’s not doing its job.”

Tory transport spokesman on the council, Nick Cook, said such a huge sum from two bus lane cameras would raise eyebrows and reinforce suspicions that the cameras were primarily a cash generator.

He said: “Bus lane cameras have their place in terms of sensible enforcement but there is an onus to reassure the public they are there for a legitimate reason other than financial gain for the council.”

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “Bus lanes are essential in ensuring reliable public transport in Edinburgh. By discouraging the misuse of bus lanes through camera enforcement, we can improve bus journey times and help the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on their bus service for safe, punctual transport during peak hours.

“These figures relate to two bus lane cameras on Liberton Road, where there is a high level of non-compliant vehicles misusing the bus lanes. Only those drivers who misuse the bus lanes during operational hours will be issued with a charge notice, while those driving responsibly will not.”