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Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notice – 2022 Guide

HomeCouncil FinesBus Lane Penalty Charge Notice – 2022 Guide
Bus lane PCN

What is a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice and do I have to pay? These are the sort of questions that get asked by anyone who receives a PCN for driving through a bus lane. Learn more about bus lane PCNs, how to challenge them and the important bus lane Penalty Charge Notice time limit – all explained below! 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances, parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor.

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

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

What happens if you drive in a bus lane by mistake UK?

You can be hit with a penalty fine if you drive in a bus lane when it is not permitted, whether you did it by mistake or on purpose. If you drive into a bus lane try to exit back into a legal lane quickly and safely. 

Some bus lanes are only operational at certain times of the day. The times when you cannot use a bus lane should be clearly stated on road signs. Cameras are used to monitor the use of bus lanes in a lot of locations. 

What are the penalties for driving in a bus lane?

Driving in a bus lane could result in a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). This is a type of fine usually issued by local councils for illegal parking, not paying road fees on time (e.g. the London Congestion Charge) and for some minor traffic violations. 

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

What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?

A Penalty Charge Notice is a type of fine issued by councils and transport bodies. They are mostly given to people for parking illegally in urban areas, but they can also be handed out for some driving offences and not paying a road or toll fee by a deadline. 

The PCN could be left on your vehicle if you parked illegally, or it will be sent in the post to your registered address. You’ll have 28 days to pay the PCN, but if you pay within 14 days you will pay a reduced rate and save as much as 50% of the fine. 

Don’t confuse a PCN with a more serious Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). The police usually have out FPNs for more serious driving offences and can add points to your license.

What is a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice?

A bus lane Penalty Charge Notice is a PCN that was issued because you drove in a bus lane when you were not allowed. One of the traffic offences that can result in a PCN is driving through a bus lane, as well as turning right or left when not permitted. 

How much is a bus lane 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 within the first 14 days. 

How do you pay a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice?

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. 

Can you challenge a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice?

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 by writing a letter detailing why you think the fine is unfair and providing evidence. 

The council will have the offence on camera, so there are limited reasons why you could get the PCN overturned. Some possible excuses that could work are:

  1. You were in fact driving in the bus lane outside of a permitted time (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. Check this out…

Bus lane Penalty Charge Notice 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. 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

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

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

GET STARTED

Uncover more help dealing with PCNs

Thanks for reading this MoneyNerd PCN guide, we hope you can use the information above to save money or even get out of your bus lane PCN. Have another question about these fines? Stick with us and read more of our free guides on the subject! 

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