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Council and Police Fines
Bus Lane Fine

Bus Lane Fine – Should I Pay or Appeal? 

Scott Nelson MoneyNerd Janine Marsh MoneyNerd
Scott Nelson MoneyNerd

Scott Nelson

Debt Expert

Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.

Learn more about Scott
Janine Marsh MoneyNerd

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.

Learn more about Janine
· May 29th, 2024
Fight back against bus lane fines with JustAnswer, get legal guidance now!

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Featured in...
Bus Lane Fine

Are you unsure whether to pay or appeal your bus lane fine? You’ve come to the right place. Each month, more than 130,000 people turn to our website for guidance on fines and parking tickets.

This article will give you clear information about:

  • What a bus lane fine is.
  • Whether you need to pay your bus lane fine.
  • How you can make an appeal against a bus lane fine.
  • Ways to avoid getting a bus lane fine in the future.
  • What might happen if you decide to ignore your fine.

In 2021, Churchill Motor Insurance reported an 8% increase in penalty charge notices (PCNs) in Britain, with over 5.2 million issued.1 So rest assured, you’re not alone.

Some of us have even been there. We have plenty of helpful advice and examples to guide you.

Most Appeals Succeed

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your bus lane fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor feeds, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

Chat below to get started with JustAnswer

*Around 35,000 people dispute their tickets each year with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, and a striking 64% of those appeals are successful, so it’s well worth a try.

How are bus lanes enforced?

If you did drive in a bus lane, it is possible that CCTV cameras captured you on video because the area is equipped with such technology.

When and where you were observed driving in an improper manner in a bus lane will be included on your penalty charge notice (PCN).

Check out what happened to one person who got a bus lane fine for being in the lane for 36 seconds.

Source: Moneysavingexpert

How much is a bus lane PCN?

The cost of a penalty charge notice is £60 when issued outside of London. In London, the borough can set their own fees.

A local council reduces the fine by half if you pay it within 14 days.

The price outside of London will escalate to £90 if you do not pay within the allotted time period of 28 days and do not file an appeal.

The majority of councils provide the option to pay with a credit or debit card over the phone or online.

The PCN will be sent to the registered keeper through the post if the offence was caught on camera.

The issuing council receives this information from the DVLA, so it is important to keep your details up to date. 

When can I drive in the lane?

Bus lanes are required to have road markings and signage that indicate which vehicles (if any) are permitted to use them in accordance with the Highway Code.

During the hours when a bus lane is in use, you are not permitted to drive in that lane under any circumstances, unless one of the following applies to you:

  • The road is blocked or made difficult to travel due to an obstruction.
  • To avoid an accident

White lines, either solid or dashed, are typically used to denote the location of bus lanes.

The beginning and ending points of each lane are indicated by the dashed lines, while the continuous white line serves as a connection between them.

Different types of bus lanes

There are different types of bus lanes which I’ve listed here:

  • Contraflow
  • Bus gates
  • Bus lanes

Successful Appeal Case Study


Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

Can I appeal a penalty charge for driving in a bus lane?

You may choose to appeal a fine for using a bus lane for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • The alleged offence didn’t happen because the signs and road markings were incorrect or your vehicle was entitled to drive or park in the bus lane. 
  • The penalty is too high. Fines outside London cost £60 or £30 if payment is made within 14 days
  • The police are involved. This may happen if the offence is part of a criminal case or an FPN (fixed penalty notice) has been issued rather than a PCN.
  • You did not own the vehicle at the time. It is possible that you sold it before the event happened, or that you acquired it after it happened. 
  • The vehicle had been stolen, in which case you will need a crime number from the police. 

Should I pay or appeal?

Whether or not you pay or appeal your bus lane fine depends wholly on whether you think it was correctly issued.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

If you have no doubt that you committed the offence, it is in your best interests to pay within 14 days to make the most of the 50% discount.

However, if you believe you have grounds for an appeal, make sure you lodge it within 28 days and provide evidence.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can take a huge weight off your mind.

Get started

Reviews shown are for JustAnswer.

The consequences of not paying the fine

If you don’t pay or appeal a bus lane fine, the issuer will issue a Charge Certificate.

After this, a court issues an ‘order to pay’ and if you don’t, the fine is registered as a debt.

When you don’t pay, the debt will be enforced by bailiffs who could visit your home.

Instructions for appealing a bus lane fine

It is imperative that you get in touch with the issuing council as quickly as possible; your PCN has all of the relevant contact information.

Include the PCN number in your response and explain why you believe you should not have to pay for the ticket.

Note: As soon as you make a payment on a penalty charge notice (PCN), the council will consider the matter resolved, and you will lose the right to file an appeal.

You must lodge your appeal within 28 days of receiving the bus lane fine.

You must provide evidence in writing and include:

  • Photographs
  • Receipts proving when your car was bought or sold
  • Witness statements

Appeal Process Steps

If you believe the ticket was unfairly issued, you have the option to appeal. I’ve created this table outlining the steps of the appeal process.

If you want to learn more about your PCN, don’t forget to read our complete guide.

Process: Steps you should take:
When you receive the ticket… You should gather as much evidence as you can to support your appeal claim and prove that the ticket was unfairly issued.
If you were given the ticket in person/attached to your car… You must make an informal appeal (sent to the local authority/council that issued the PCN) within 14 days. This should be a letter with the evidence proving why the ticket was incorrectly given.
If it was posted to you… You will be given 21 days to submit an informal appeal (from the day you received the letter). Your informal appeal should be a letter with the evidence proving why the ticket was incorrectly given.
If the informal appeal is rejected… You will receive a Notice to Owner and will have 28 days to respond to this with a formal appeal. You can conduct the formal appeal online or via paper form. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal can send you one of these forms.
If the formal appeal is rejected… You will receive a Notice of Rejection. From here, you are free to challenge the council’s verdict at an independent tribunal.
If the independent tribunal disagrees with your appeal… You should pay the ticket within 28 days of the tribunal rejecting your appeal. If you don’t, the fine will be increased by 50%.
If you don’t have the money to pay the fine, you should contact Citizens Advice or another debt charity.

What happens if you lose your appeal?

You have up to 28 days after receiving your Notice of Rejection to file an appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, in the event that the council decides to reject your appeal 

Will it affect your insurance?

Because it is a civil matter and not a criminal one, it is highly unlikely that it will result in points being added to your driver’s licence, and it should also have no effect on your vehicle insurance premium.

How long does it take for a bus lane fine to come through the UK?

Your local council has 14 days to gather information from the DVLA so that the bus lane Penalty Charge Notice may be issued.

They have 28 days to serve the PCN before they run out of time.

Hire a Solicitor for less than a coffee.

If you’re thinking about appealing your bus lane fine then getting some professional advice is a good idea.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.

For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.

Try it below

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.


  1. Direct Line Group — Parking Fines Statistics
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The authors
Scott Nelson MoneyNerd
Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.
Janine Marsh MoneyNerd
Appeals Expert
Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.