Bus Lane Operational Hours

Closed 22 Nov 2019

Opened 30 Oct 2019


We are considering changing the times that general traffic can use bus lanes to make it faster for people to travel by bus and want to hear your views.

The changing city

Over the last 10 years, Edinburgh’s population has grown at a much faster rate than the rest of Scotland – 12.5% compared to 5%. By 2023, our total population will have increased by 23,000 people.

It is taking people 12% longer to travel by bus than in 2006 during peak times and 14% outside these. Buses are also travelling nearly 8% slower. Part of this is due to more people travelling by bus, but there is also more traffic on our roads. Many areas of the city, particularly routes leading to retail parks, are busier at weekends than during the working week.

Bus lanes can speed up bus journeys by allowing buses to bypass congestion making bus travel a more attractive option. 

Current operating hours

Currently most bus lanes on the main roads of Edinburgh are closed to general traffic Monday to Friday during peak hours only (7.30am to 9.30am and 4pm to 6.30pm).  Within these times only buses, taxis, motorcyclists, cyclists, and emergency vehicles can use these lanes.  Outside these times other vehicles can drive in the lanes which can slow down buses and cause congestion.

There are stretches of road which only buses and certain other vehicles can use which operate 24 hours a day. These will not be affected and will still operate 24 hours a day.

Why your views matter

We are proposing to close bus lanes to general traffic from 7am to 7pm seven days a week to make it faster for people to travel by bus.

We would like your feedback on these proposed changes. We are keen to hear from anyone who would be affected, including people living or working in Edinburgh and representative of local businesses or organisations.  

We are only consulting on amending bus lane operating times and we are not consulting on opening bus lanes up to other types of vehicles.

We have produced a list of general questions and answers which can be found here.


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • All interests