AN urgent review of a Scottish city’s controversial bus lane scheme has been ordered by council chiefs.
Edinburgh council leaders have given council officials a one week deadline to review the scheme, after thousands of motorists were handed £60 fines within days of the new rules starting.
Early estimates predicted that 4,000 drivers a year would be caught by the new bus lane cameras, but more than 4,500 were dished out within the first six days.
One private hire driver was fined 30 times within the first two weeks of the cameras going live.
The new rules, which went active on April 23, saw 82 drivers fined five or more times within the first fortnight.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, said she can concerns about the new scheme.
She said: “We all know there have been difficulties. We have been listening to people and there is a problem.
“We all realise the reasons for putting in the cameras and support the principle of preventing the misuse of the city’s bus lanes by general traffic.
“But I have concerns, as do the public and other councillors, about how the policy has been implemented.”
The review will investigate why so many drivers are being caught out by the new rules.
It will also examine the times at which drivers are being caught, after it was revealed one female motorist, Janice Warnes, received a penalty notice after driving in a lane three seconds before the cameras were supposed to turn on.
Signage will also be look at.
Councillor Hinds added: “We have listened to what the public are saying and we want to address this as quickly as possible.
“We have asked what the teething problems have been and also challenged officials to come up with some solutions. The policy is about encouraging more of us on to public transport, it’s not about money-making.
“We have asked for the review and I don’t want to make judgements until I get it back and we know the extent of the problem. We’ll have it by the beginning of the week and action will be taken promptly.”
The high numbers of people being clocked by the cameras meant that some customers did not receive fines until nearly three weeks after they had driven on the Greenways.
Residents of Willowbrae Avenue in Edinburgh were fined every day as they turned into their street.
Scores of drivers have complained that they have been caught out despite being in the lanes for a matter of seconds as they prepared to turn off roads.
Neil Greig, director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, welcomed the review, stating: “I think this is a very positive move and it’s not before time. It’s been unfortunate that because of the election there hasn’t been anyone who can get people together to sort this out. Something has gone wrong and they need to get a handle on it.”