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U-turn on festive bus lane penalties

ROADS officials have made a U-turn on a decision to fine motorists for driving in bus lanes at Christmas - when there are no buses on the roads.

It comes after complaints that drivers in Glasgow had been hit with penalties on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. They include a man sent a fixed penalty notice for driving in a bus lane as he rushed to his dying mother-in-law's bedside on December 25.

The council has now decided to introduce a pilot scheme, which will operate only on the two quietest days of the festive season. That will result in bus lane cameras remaining on, but drivers who use them on December 25 and January 1, when buses are off the road, will not face fines.

However, motorists who have been caught in the past on the two festive days will still have to pay up.

A council spokesman said: "We will be holding a trial this year where the cameras will not be switched off but contraventions will not be processed or be enforced.

"This trial gives us the opportunity to bring bus lane enforcement in line with on-street enforcement on Christmas and New Year's Days."

But Neil Greig, of the IAM Motoring Trust, said: "I don't see it as a good compromise. The council should just admit it got it wrong and switch the cameras off when there are no buses."

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