PASSENGERS paid nearly £50,000 in foreign and counterfeit coins to travel on Edinburgh's buses last year.

Bus drivers for the council-owned Lothian Buses calculated they had collected more than £130 each day in useless payments.

Although the loss is partially offset by passengers who overpay on the exact-fare only buses, there was still an annual deficit of £21,384.

Transport consultant Robert Drysdale said the issue explained why many bus operators were trying to move away from cash fares altogether.

Earlier this month, the bus company unveiled the new "citysmart" cards, which have been modelled on the cash-less Oystercard used in London.

In 2012 the bus firm raised £194,035 from over-payments but this fell to £26,188 after last year's fare rise to £1.50.