Drivers holding motorhome insurance policies will be amongst those relieved by a decision taken by Edinburgh authorities this week which should see them have fixed penalty motoring fines cancelled.
The decision to shut down two of the recently installed bus lane spy cameras has been greeted with delight by all motoring organisations in the city as the camera system degenerated into farce as locals were being fined on a daily basis for doing no more than a turn into the roads where they lived. The two cameras to be turned off are those at Willowbrae Road and Jocks Lodge but it is now a fair assumption that the other three cameras in the city centre will also be challenged.
The installation of the cameras was designed to aid the free passage of buses across the city and to stop other motorists using the bus lanes. The city authorities reckoned they would probably catch 4,000 drivers a year transgressing the rules; in fact the cameras handed out notices to 4,600 vehicles in the first couple of weeks. The local press have highlighted dozens of cases where drivers have picked up dozens of fines in less than a fortnight including one driver of a minibus who picked up 27 notices in 14 days even though the driver, who uses the bus to ferry disabled schoolchildren to school, had been told he would be exempt.
The decision to remove the cameras and re-examine the positioning of the remaining ones should lead to thousands of the £60 penalty notices being cancelled and leaving the council further out of pocket. However, there is very little sympathy for the council in the matter. Motorists’ views were being well represented by Neil Grieg, from the Institute of Advanced Drivers, who said “This is good news but you wonder if they’d have done it if there hadn’t been so much hassle. The issues that they are reviewing should all have been dealt with before the system was put in place. It’s been a farce.”