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City's bus lanes to undergo a major review after drivers call for change

THE first major review of bus lanes in Glasgow is to be carried out following controversy over motorists fined for straying into the paths.

Roads officials insist the review is not linked to the criticism or to a petition calling on them to re-think a strategy to fine drivers around the clock, even when buses are not on the road.

The review could result in more bus lanes, their hours of operation being changed or restrictions scrapped.

The first bus lanes were introduced 24 years ago but until 2012, they were enforced by the police. Their role was then taken over by Glasgow City Council and, in April that year, 11 enforcement cameras were switched on. There are now 16 CCTV cameras monitoring bus lanes with 11 operating 24 hours a day. Most bus lanes are not monitored by cameras. Council bosses insist the lanes are needed to keep public transport moving and that in the past year the number of drivers fined has fallen by up to 54%, proving they work.

City council land and environment spokesman Alistair Watson said a review of how the lanes operate is necessary as the city has changed a lot in the past two decades.

At present there are 173 bus lanes or bus priority measures, 12 miles of peak- period bus lanes and eight miles of 24-hour bus lanes.

Mr Watson said: "All the traffic orders we carry out require review but this is an extensive review of the whole network.

"The city has changed quite significantly. For example, the East End of Glasgow is an extensive part of the city which didn't exist in its present form 24 years ago when bus lanes were introduced. And the new Southern General is a new challenge for us as it is effectively a new town with 11,000 staff who are going to have to be catered for by public transport.

"There are lots of challenges ahead and I think it is right for us to do this review and right for it to be thorough.

"The review will analyse how this policy is benefitting the city and if there is scope for improvement."

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