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How to appeal a ticket
How to avoid paying bus lane fine

Should I Pay Bus Lane Fine in Bristol or can I Appeal?

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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· Jun 6th, 2024
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Bristol Bus Lane Fine

Have you received a bus lane fine in Bristol? If so, you’re not alone. Every month, over 32,000 people seek out our guidance on handling tickets and fines. It can feel a bit scary and confusing but don’t worry.

In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  • Why you got a bus lane fine in Bristol.
  • How you might avoid paying it.
  • What vehicles are allowed to use bus lanes.
  • How to appeal a Bristol bus lane fine.
  • What happens if you don’t pay the fine.

We know how you feel, as our team has guided many people in the same boat. We get that it’s a tough spot to be in, but stay calm. Let’s find out what you can do about your bus lane fine in Bristol.

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.

Should you pay a bus lane fine in Bristol or appeal it?

Much depends on whether you have solid grounds to appeal a bus lane fine or not.

Link to Youtube video

For example, if you can prove you only entered the bus lane because there was no other alternative, your appeal could be successful.

However, if you don’t have a good excuse, you may be better off paying the fine within 14 days. You’d get to pay a lesser amount and save yourself a lot of stress and hassle!

The one thing you shouldn’t do is ignore a Bristol bus lane fine because it could get messy and very expensive if you do!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope you found the information helpful when dealing with a Bristol bus lane fine!

How do I appeal a Bristol PCN?

You can only appeal the PCN in writing and you can only file one PCN at a time.

You’ll also need to provide the following info with your appeal:

  • The 10-digit PCN number
  • Your vehicle registration number (VRN)

I’ve listed how to appeal the PCN in writing in the table below:

Address to send appeal Deadline to file the appeal
Parking Services (PCN Appeals), PO Box 3399, Bristol City Council, Bristol, BS1 9NE 28 days
Online appeal process 28 days

It’s worth noting that you can see your case details online which could also include photographic evidence of the bus lane violation.

You should get a response from Bristol council within 28 days although it could take longer for the authority to respond.

That said, everything goes on hold once the authority receives your appeal.

Are there any good excuses to appeal a Bristol bus lane fine?

Although it might be challenging to file a successful Bristol bus lane appeal, it’s not impossible.

For example, if you have a valid excuse, the authority must consider cancelling the PCN you were sent which means you could avoid paying the fine.

I’ve listed some excuses motorists have used in the past to contest bus lane fines:

  • Your vehicle was stolen at the time the PCN was issued. You must be able to produce a police record of the theft
  • The bus lane signs were not visible, missing or damaged
  • You had no choice but to enter the bus lane to avoid hitting another vehicle
  • You used the bus lane to let an emergency service vehicle pass you and left immediately they had

How to avoid paying Bristol bus lane fines

If you want to avoid paying a Bristol bus lane fine you’ll need an airtight appeal.

The best way to perfect your appeal is getting a little advice from a Solicitor. I’d 100% recommend spending a fiver to get a trial of JustAnswer.

You can explain your situation in their chat and they’ll connect you with a Solicitor who can advise you and give you the best chance to win your appeal.

Click here to get the trial offer with JustAnswer.

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.

What happens if I accidentally drive in a bus lane?

If you accidentally strayed into a bus lane, you’ll still get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). It’ll contain details of the offence and photo evidence of the traffic violation.

How long does the council have to send the fine?

The issuing authority has 28 days to send you the PCN through the post if the traffic violation was caught on CCTV.

If the Penalty Charge Notice arrives any later, you could have grounds to appeal the fine!

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

Get started

Reviews shown are for JustAnswer.

Is it worth using a solicitor to appeal a bus lane fine?

You could use the services of a solicitor to challenge a Bristol bus lane fine although there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful.

Plus, it’d add an extra cost to the bus lane fine, bearing in mind, you’d lose the chance to pay the discounted amount!

What happens if your appeal against a bus lane fine is rejected?

You’ll get a Notice of Rejection after which time you have 28 days to:

  • Pay the bus lane fine, or
  • File an appeal with the Adjudicator within 28 days of receiving the Notice of Rejection

When you don’t pay or appeal the PCN within the specified deadline, a charge certificate will be issued against you.

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.

What happens if you don’t pay a fine for driving in a bus lane?

You’ll be sent a Registration of Debt and Order for Recovery from the Enforcement Authority. It will include a Statutory Declaration form.

If you still don’t pay the PCN within 28 days of receiving the order, Bristol Council could apply to the courts for a Warrant of Execution!

How much is a bus lane fine in Bristol?

You’d be hit with a fine of £70 for using a bus lane in Bristol. However, if you settle it within 14 days, the amount is halved to £35!

Paying the fine early is something worth considering if you don’t have solid grounds for filing an appeal!

Check out what one motorist was asked to pay has not responded to a Bristol bus lane fine!

How much is a bus lane fine in Bristol

Source: Moneysavingexpert

Who gets the Bristol bus lane fine?

If the traffic violation is caught on CCTV, a Bristol bus lane fine is sent to the registered keepers’ address. The issuing authority retrieves the information from the DVLA.

As such, it’s up to the registered keeper to pay the Penalty Charge Notice for a bus lane fine contravention!

What vehicles are allowed to use bus lanes?

As the name suggests, designated bus lanes are primarily for use by buses with a minimum capacity of 10 seats.

That said, other vehicles are also allowed to use bus lanes which include:

  • Public service vehicles
  • Emergency services
  • Police vehicles
  • Licenced taxis
  • Cyclists
  • Mopeds
  • Certain motorbikes

Some vehicles over 7.5 tonnes (Max Gross Weight) can also use the bus lanes to access locations in the vicinity. However, they are not allowed to unload or load items within a bus lane.

Need more advice about bus lane fines?

Check out my other post if you need more advice about bus lane fines!

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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.