Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh bus lane camera fines to be cancelled

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Media captionOnly buses and black cabs are allowed to use the greenways

Thousands of traffic fines issued to drivers in Edinburgh are to be cancelled, it has been confirmed.

The move follows complaints from motorists after five cameras were installed on bus lanes last month.

The two cameras in Willowbrae Road were removed at the weekend after some drivers were fined simply for crossing into the driveways of their homes.

City of Edinburgh Council said anyone caught by either of these cameras will have their fine cancelled or refunded.

A spokesman for the council said a total of 4,301 fines had been issued on the road.

Of these, 2,288 have been paid, 510 have been appealed against and 2,013 have not been paid.

'Workable system'

Residents had complained of receiving daily £60 fines for driving over the bus lane to access their homes.

A review of the cameras was ordered by the council's transport convener, Lesley Hinds, last week.

She said: "The review which has now been completed has shown that two of the five cameras in operation, both situated in Willowbrae Road, were penalising some motorists who were entering the bus lanes with good reason.

"One particular area of concern was when drivers entered a bus lane to slow down in anticipation of a left turn across a bus lane. There was also an issue about drivers entering a bus lane in order to avoid queuing behind a right-turning vehicle.

"Immediate action has been taken to decommission these sites and the officers have been requested to come back in due course with a fair and workable system for these locations.

"In the meantime I have requested that all the tickets issued at this location be withdrawn and that refunds be issued to those drivers who have already paid their tickets."

Sam Rutherford, 39, who lives in Willowbrae, said she had been shocked to receive a fine for driving in a greenway on Willowbrae Road.

The mother-of-two told the BBC Scotland news website: "I was very surprised to get the fine, and confused because I would never drive in a greenway.

"I had to really think back and use the photographs they had sent me to work out that it was when I was driving into the left-hand turn lane on Willowbrae Road."

She said she had moved into the lane when it was safe to do so.

"Any further up (the road) and I would have been swerving dangerously into the lane in front of another car," she explained.

"I thought it was a stupid place to have a camera because so many people have to turn left there, but I paid the fine because if you don't pay it within two weeks it doubles."

Taxi driver

The council said the other three bus lane cameras on London Road and Calder Road would remain in operation, but additional signs will be erected alerting drivers about bus lane cameras.

And any motorist who has incurred an initial ticket, and who commits further offences before receiving formal notification of the first ticket, will only be required to pay the first fine.

However once a driver has received this formal notification, any subsequent tickets issued will be enforced.

The cameras were introduced on 23 April in a bid to ensure that only buses and black cabs used the green bus lanes, with offenders receiving an automatic £60 fine from the council.

The volume of £60 fines issued since then has been far higher than expected.

In the first three weeks of full enforcement, almost 4,500 drivers were caught each week contravening the rules.

Among them was a female driver who complained she was fined £60 after being caught driving on the greenway at 07:29 and 57 seconds - three seconds before the cameras were supposed to be switched on.

It has also been revealed a private hire taxi driver clocked up £1,800 in fines after being caught 30 times in the space of a fortnight.

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