Taxi drivers have been given the greenlight to use bus lanes once again – after a temporary order allowing its use lapsed last month when council chiefs forgot to renew it.

North Ayrshire Council confirmed they were now looking to get a permanent order after the drivers previously won a long fight to use a Stevenston bus lane for a 12-month trial period after a petition from TOA taxis.

However the order eventually lapsed in April 20 last month – with no one seeking to either renew it or implement a permanent order.

Following concerns from residents and enquiries from the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, North Ayrshire Council confirmed this week that a new order had now come into effect from May 5.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “The Temporary Order lapsed on April 20 and following further consideration we have, from Wednesday, May 5, extended this for a further six months.

“We are currently in the process of promoting a permanent Traffic Regulation Order.”

Taxi drivers in North Ayrshire will continue in lane.

Taxi drivers in North Ayrshire will continue in lane.

When it was approved at North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet in 2019, recommendation to councillors said: “It is proposed that the full length of the bus lane be the subject of an experimental TRO permitting taxis to utilise the bus lane for a period of 12 months. This will allow Hackney licensed and private hire vehicles to utilise the bus lane.

“This would allow a sufficient period to assess its impact on bus services and incidences of misuse by non-taxi vehicles.

The experimental nature of the TRO would also provide the council with the flexibility to rescind the order should the monitoring identify a sufficiently negative impact on bus services.”

Jim McKerrell of TOA Taxis said at the time: “It’s been a long haul, a good 10 years on and off. This is going to benefit the general public who are using the taxis.

“I’m totally delighted.”