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Council and Police Fines
Bus Lane Fine

Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notice 

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 27th, 2024
Fight back against bus lane fines with JustAnswer, get legal guidance now!

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Featured in...
Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notice

Have you received a bus lane PCN? You’ve come to the right place. Every month, more than 130,000 people visit our website for advice on fines and parking tickets.

The article will cover:

  • What a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for a bus lane offence is.
  • Whether you need to pay this fine.
  • What happens if you drive into a bus lane by mistake.
  • How much a bus lane fine might cost.
  • Guide you on how to challenge a bus lane PCN.

Churchill Motor Insurance reports that in 2022, UK councils issued an average of 19,631 daily parking fines, a 12% increase from the previous year.1 So rest assured, you’re not alone.

Don’t worry! We’ll help you decide if you should pay the fine or challenge it by providing various helpful tips and examples.

Let’s get started.

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.

What are the penalties?

Driving in a bus lane could result in a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Traffic contraventions such as this are a type of fine usually issued by local councils.

The legal responsibility is with the vehicle owner, who is responsible for paying a bus lane fine, even if they were not the ones driving the vehicle at the time. 

Do you get points for driving in the lane?

You don’t get penalty points on your driving license if you enter a bus lane when you shouldn’t.

You can only be fined via a Penalty Charge Notice.

As you don’t get points on your license for driving in a bus lane, there are no driving record implications, and you don’t have to worry about the incident causing your vehicle insurance premiums to increase. 

How do you pay a fine?

You pay a bus lane penalty charge notice to your local council.

There are different ways to pay a PCN, and many councils now offer to accept payment via their website.

You’ll need to search for your PCN on their website using your vehicle registration number and unique PCN number.

Your PCN number can usually be found at the top of your PCN letter. 

Once you have located your PCN with these details, you’ll be able to make an online payment quickly. Alternatively, you might have to pay over the phone by calling your local authority. 

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

What happens if I don’t pay by the deadline?

If the fine isn’t paid by the deadline, your fine may increase.

So, the way I see it, the sooner you pay, the better if you won’t be appealing your PCN and want to avoid further financial consequences.

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 you challenge it?

You have the right to challenge a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days.

You’ll need to make a formal appeal against the fine online via your local council or by writing a letter detailing why you think the fine is unfair and providing evidence. 

If you wait until after 28 days to appeal your PCN, your appeal probably won’t be considered, and you’ll have to pay the full amount without any early-settlement discount.

In my experience, the PCN dispute process can vary between local councils; some may still consider appeals after this period, but each case and council can differ.

So it’s best to submit your appeal before the 28 days.

You can use this template to help you make your appeal: PCN Appeal Letter Template – Free Sample.

Appeal Process Steps

I’ve put together this table to help you better understand the appeal process and increase your chances of success.

If you want to learn more about your PCN, be sure 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 reasons could get it overturned?

The council will have the offence on camera, so there are limited reasons why you could get the PCN overturned.

Some valid objections that could work are:

  1. You were driving in the bus lane during a permitted time, indicated by signage (an error by the council)
  2. You broke down before the lane became exclusive to buses
  3. Poor road signage (photographic evidence required)
  4. You entered the bus lane to evade an accident
  5. You entered the bus lane to allow emergency services to pass

Another potential reason to challenge a bus lane PCN is that the council ran out of time to serve it.

How much is a fine (UK)?

The cost of a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice varies based on location.

For example, the cost in Scotland is usually around £60, whereas a bus lane PCN in London can exceed £100.

But remember, you can often get a 50% discount on the fine if you pay it within the first 14 days. 

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

Get started

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PCN time limit

Your local council has 14 days to request your information from the DVLA so they can issue the bus lane Penalty Charge Notice.

They have a total of 28 days to serve the PCN, or they run out of time.

However, if the DVLA take too long to reply with the information to serve the PCN, the serving time is extended to six months

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. SkyNews – Parking Tickets 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.