SWEEPING changes have been made to the running of Glasgow’s controversial bus lanes.

Any of the thoroughfares which were previously 24 hours have now been reduced to just 12 hours, with the lanes will only operating between 7am and 7pm.

The Evening Times has been campaigning for a change in the bus lane rules for more than three years after it emerged drivers were being penalised when buses were not in operation.

We revealed that more than 300 drivers were being fined for being in bus lanes on Christmas and New Years day when no buses were running.

Following our reports, the council backed down on the plans to charge drivers on festive holidays.

Now they have introduced more changes, amending previous 24-hour bus lanes to just 12 hours,and changing the peak-time bus lanes to fall in line with these.

New signage is already being rolled out telling drivers the lanes are active either between 7am and 9.30am, and 4pm and 7pm, or between 7am and 7pm continuously.

Work started on the road sign on August 7, and is expected to be fully completed by the end of this month,

All fines have been amended since July 30 to reflect the new rules.

Councillor Malcolm Balfour, SNP councillor and former bus driver, has been campaigning alongside the Evening Times on the issue since 2013.

He said: “This is an absolutely fantastic decision and great that the bus lane times have been changed.

“After a long-fought campaign, we have finally succeeded. There will be no longer any 24-hour bus lanes, which makes sense for a number of years we have had no 24-hour bus services.

“Peak bus lanes will stay the same in the morning, but will be extended by half an hour in the evening to bring them in line with the other bus lanes.

“I really do think this will help stop people straying in to the wrong lanes at the wrong times.

“This in the continuation with no charges on Christmas Day and New years’ day is really a huge benefit to Glasgow.”I’d like to thank the Evening Times for their commitment to this campaign for the last few years and helping to run the petition.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Bus lanes play an important role in keeping the city moving and managing air quality by reducing exhaust emissions in key parts of the city – but this depends on them not being abused by other road users and offences have steadily decreased since the introduction of enforcement cameras.

“With that in mind, it was important to review the traffic orders that were in place in order to ensure they were still effective. Most people agreed with the change from 24-hour to 12-hour lanes, which are now in force.”