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How to avoid paying bus lane fine

Avoid Paying a Bus Lane Fine – Pay or Appeal? Quick Guide

Janine Marsh Thrifty Family
Janine Marsh Thrifty Family

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

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

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· Jan 16th, 2024
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avoid paying bus lane fine appeal

Have you got a bus lane fine? Every month, over 32,000 people come here for advice. It can be confusing but don’t worry. This guide will help you understand what to do next.

In this guide, we’ll explain:

  • How and when to drive in bus lanes.
  • Who gives out bus lane fines and how much they can be.
  • What happens if you don’t pay a bus lane fine.
  • How to appeal a bus lane fine and what happens if your appeal doesn’t win.
  • If a bus lane fine will affect your insurance or credit rating.

Our team has guided many people just like you, so we know how you feel, and we’re here to help. We can guide you on how to deal with your bus lane fine. Let’s dive in and discuss your options.

Do You Have To Pay?

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

In partnership with Just Answer.

Can you appeal a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice?

Yes. You have the right to appeal a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice. Especially when you know it’s wrong!

That said, there are several valid reasons for disputing the offence which I’ve listed here:

  • You never drove in the bus lane
  • Your vehicle had been stolen when the offence happened
  • You didn’t own the vehicle when the offence occurred

Make sure you can provide supporting evidence when you appeal a bus lane PCN. Without proof, your appeal will likely fail!

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

How do you appeal a bus lane PCN?

First, get in touch with the issuing authority sooner rather than later. Details on how to contact the issuer should be on the PCN you received. You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your vehicle registration number (VRN)
  • The Penalty Charge reference number
  • The reason why the PCN should be cancelled

Second, make sure you file the appeal within the 28-day deadline. However, if possible, you should try to appeal the PCN within 14 days. Like this, if the issuer rejects it, you get to pay a lesser fine.

Also, the issuer puts all proceedings on hold while considering your appeal which gains you a little time!

You’ll be notified in due course whether the issuer accepts your appeal or they reject it.

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 legal help

In partnership with Just Answer.

When can you drive in bus lanes?

There are times when you can drive in a bus lane, and others when it’d get you a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). For example, when buses are in use, which is typical during rush hours, you can’t drive in the bus lanes.

There are signs and road markings that tell you that driving in a bus lane isn’t allowed, no matter what. However, there are times when a bus lane can be used even when it’s not permitted.

I’ve listed the reasons here:

  • There’s an obstruction blocking a roadway whether it’s a road traffic accident or something else
  • An emergency vehicle needs to get passed you which means you’re obliged to pull over into a bus lane
  • To avoid being involved in a car accident

Lots of motorists get confused when they get a bus lane fine and ask if there’s any leeway. Check out what happened to one motorist below:

Avoid Paying a Bus Lane Fine - Pay or Appeal?

Source: https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6298247/bus-lane-penalty-charge-notice

What happens when the issuer rejects your appeal?

The issuer sends you a notice of rejection when your appeal is unsuccessful. Once you get the rejection notice, you have a further 28 days to pay the fine. However, at this point, you’d have to pay the full amount.

But all is not lost, because you can escalate an appeal against a bus lane PCN to an independent tribunal. The notice of rejection must tell you how to do this.

For example, different tribunals cover different areas of the country which I’ve listed here:

Bus lane fines in London London Tribunals
Outside London Traffic Penalty Tribunal
Scotland Parking & Bus Lane Tribunal Scotland

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

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How long does an authority have to issue a bus lane PCN?

The authority must serve a bus lane PCN within 28 days of the offence. Any longer and the fine would be deemed ‘out of time’. So, the issuer can’t chase you for the money!

What happens if you ignore a bus lane fine?

You get a Charge Certificate if you ignore a bus lane fine and don’t pay it within 28 days. Plus the fine increases by 50% as soon as the Charge Certificate is served!

Will a bus lane PCN affect your insurance?

No. Getting a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice won’t affect your insurance in any way. However, you may have to declare the PCN when you apply for a visa to visit another country. But having the fine shouldn’t affect the outcome of your application.

Hire a Solicitor for less than a coffee.

If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket 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.

Does a bus lane PCN affect your credit rating?

No. It won’t affect your credit rating unless you ignore the PCN and don’t pay it. You’d get a CCJ registered against you which will appear on your credit history!

Lastly, pay or appeal bus lane Penalty Charge Notices?

Whether you pay or appeal bus lane Penalty Charge Notices depends on several things. But don’t automatically think the fine is correct. In short, always check the details on the fine are correct – and yours!

Once you’re satisfied you deserve the PCN, it might be worth considering paying within 14 days. When you pay within two weeks, the fine amount is reduced by half!

However, if you feel the PCN is just plain wrong, try to file your appeal within 14 days. If the issuer rejects it, you still get to pay half the amount. Plus, all proceedings cease whilst the issuer considers the appeal so you gain some time!

I hope the info in my post helps you decide how to deal with a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice so it doesn’t cost you a fortune in time and money!

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