CAMPAIGNERS have hit out at the "deeply disappointing" move to scrap all-day bus lanes in the capital.

Edinburgh City Council has voted through the controversial trial which will see the city's bus lanes opened to other traffic, except during peak hours.

At the moment, around a third of Edinburgh's bus lanes are closed to cars 24-hours a day while others operate restricted hours, which motorists complained was confusing.

Cyclists, pedestrians and environmental campaigners had all opposed the change.

Stuart Hay, head of pedestrians' group Living Streets Scotland, said: "We are deeply disappointed. This sends out a wrong and inconsistent message on where Edinburgh is on sustainable transport.

"We would anticipate a lot of the bus lanes being parked up at weekends and pedestrians struggling to cross the road. It contrasts badly with the more progressive moves in Glasgow to deter people from bringing their vehicles into the city."

In Glasgow, bus lanes operate from 7am to 7pm seven days a week.

Edinburgh's "peak hours only" option means cars will only be banned from the bus lanes between 7.30am and 9.30am and from 4pm to 6.30pm on weekdays.

Prominent routes affected include Leith Street, Leith Walk, Lanark Road and York Place.

The change will also see Edinburgh become the first city in Scotland to allow motorcyclists to use its bus lanes at all times.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian and co-convener of the Scottish Parliament's cross-party group on cycling, said the move would worsen conditions for cyclists.

She added: "By changing all-day bus lanes into peak-period bus lanes the city is opening up more road space to private cars and HGVs when instead it should be attempting to reduce traffic flow in the first place. This move is likely to worsen the noise and pollution on our streets."

Transport Convener, Cllr Lesley Hinds, said: "Our review of bus lanes across the city has found that all-day lanes offer little additional benefit to buses compared to peak only. That's the principle of bus lanes - to provide journey reliability and time saving for buses during peak periods, encouraging people to use public transport when traffic is heaviest.

"I believe that these changes, which were given cross-party approval at committee last August, will strike the best balance for all users, with standardisation simplifying the system for motorists and peak period lanes improving traffic flow for commuters."