A BUS lane bandit has been hit with £1800 in fines after being caught on camera in green lanes 30 times in two weeks.
The private hire driver was top of a list of 82 prolific offenders who were caught in Edinburgh’s Greenway bus lanes by new cameras.
Another private hire driver was caught 13 times in the two weeks since fines were enforced, meaning a £780 bill.
Private hire drivers are now complaining it is unfair black cabs can use the lanes while they are not.
But the council said it hoped targeting repeat offenders would reduce the number of people breaking the rules.
New figures released today (thur) show during the first six days of the scheme drivers were being fined once every two minutes in the biggest hotspot.
Cameras on Calder Road caught 2487 drivers in the first six days of the Greenway cameras.
In Willowbrae Road, whic had two cameras placed, 1709 were caught.
In London Road, one camera caught 397 drivers.
Among drivers fined five times or more, 64 were car drivers.
One was fined 64 times after being caught in a bus lane.
Nine were van drivers and another nine were private hire drivers.
Another six private hire drivers have been fines six times, and another one five times.
Steve Wright, chairman of the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) said: “This issue is being fought all over Britain.
“Private hire vehicles are taxis in the common language of English and in law.
“Private hire drivers are being discriminated against. It’s constraint of trade.”
Brian MacDowall, a spokesman for the Association of British Motorists,said: “[The figures] suggest serious flaws in the planning and layout.
“A longer grace period would have allowed road users to acclimatise to the new system.
“If motorists are being caught with that regularity, I would question whether the system is robust enough to leave no confusion.”
A spokeswoman for the council defended the scheme, saying: “These figures show that there are still drivers who persistently use bus lanes during prohibited times despite extensive publicity about the new enforcement regulations.
“Signs and lines clearly state when drivers should stay out of these lanes. Fining drivers who use these lanes will send out a clear message that these rules are there for good reasons, to cut congestion and pollution.”