How to avoid paying bus lane fine

How to Avoid Paying a Bus Lane Fine

What is a bus lane fine?

When you enter a bus lane during peak hours, you’ll likely get a fine whether you’re caught by the Police or by a local council for committing the offence.

Some local councils use cameras to catch drivers using bus lanes. It means you get a Charge Notice sent through the post which could be quite a bit after the event.

However, the Police enforce bus lane rules in some areas. If you are caught in a bus lane by a Police officer they’d issue a Penalty Charge Notice because it’s deemed a ‘driving offence’. 

How to appeal and win

If you want to avoid paying a 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. For £5 it’s actually amazing value.

Click here to get the trial offer with JustAnswer.

What are the rules around driving in a bus lane?

The rules on when you can drive in a bus lane and when you can’t use a lane differ from area to area. In certain cities, you can never use a bus lane. However, in other areas, you can use a bus lane after certain times.

Using a bus lane is restricted on specific days and at certain times. As mentioned, there are signs and road markings which dictate what vehicles can use them and when they can use them.

The majority of bus lanes are typically in operation during peak times. But outside of these hours, other traffic may be able to use them. But not always!

In City Centres, bus lanes tend to be in operation throughout the day! From 7.00 am to 7.00 pm, Monday to Saturday. So, if you’re caught using one, you’d get a bus lane fine.

How do I know it’s a bus lane?

You’ll see blue signs at the entrances to bus lanes which indicate the hours they are ‘in operation’. The signs also indicate what sort of vehicles are allowed to use the lanes.

That said, bus lanes in London that are classed as ‘Red Routes’ means they’re in operation 24/7. Only authorised vehicles can use a Red Route bus lane!

How do you avoid bus lanes?

The only way to avoid driving in a bus lane is to read the signs and take note of road markings!

The key to not getting a bus lane fine is not to use a lane if you’re at all unsure!

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

Even when you drive in a bus lane by mistake and the incident is caught on CCTV, chances are you’ll get a bus lane fine!

That said, you might be able to appeal a bus lane fine if you can show it was a genuine mistake! But there’s no guarantee it’ll get you out of paying the charge.

Can you beat your bus lane fine?

In many cases, bus lane fines aren’t actually enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but you could pay £5 to chat with an online Solicitor.

They’ll give you support in crafting the best appeal possible and give you the best chance of not paying your fine.

You can try it below. 


When can you drive in a bus lane UK?

You can legally drive in a bus lane when it’s not during operational hours. The signage should indicate when you can so it’s important to check the signs before entering the lane.

There are other circumstances and situations when you could use a bus lane which I’ve listed below:

  • To avoid a road traffic accident
  • To avoid an obstruction found in the road
  • To move over to let an emergency service pass you

What vehicles can use bus lanes?

As mentioned, specific vehicles are allowed to use bus lanes during operational hours. This includes the following:

  • Motorcycles can legally use most bus lanes but not all of them so it’s always worth checking the signs
  • Bicycles, scooters and mopeds are allowed to use bus lanes
  • Licenced taxis can generally use bus lanes during operational hours, but again, it’s always worth checking the blue signs first

What is a good bus lane fine excuse?

There are some good excuses that could get you out of paying the charge. I’ve listed a few reasons you could use to appeal a bus lane fine below:

  • Your vehicle was stolen when the bus lane fine was issued
  • You didn’t own the vehicle when the fine was issued
  • The driving offence never occurred because the bus lane was not operational at the time the fine was issued
  • Someone else was the driver when the offence happened and they were driving without your consent
  • The amount of the fine is more than it should be
  • You’re not the registered keeper/hirer
  • The vehicle was hired out to another person who signed a liability statement
  • The vehicle is being kept by a motor trader

You must provide adequate proof to support an appeal against a fine otherwise it’ll be rejected!

How much are bus lane fines in the UK?

The amount you’d have to pay depends on whether it happens in Greater London or not.

If you’re caught using the bus lane in Greater London during operational hours, the fine could set you back £160. However, if you pay within 14 days, the charge is reduced by half to £80.

A bus lane fine outside the Greater London area is set at £65 which also gets reduced if you pay within 14 days. In short, you’d pay £30 when you pay promptly.

Do you get points for driving in a bus lane in the UK?

No. You won’t get any penalty points on your licence if you’re caught using a bus lane when it’s not allowed.

Whether a local authority issues a Charge Notice or the Police give you a Penalty Charge Notice, you won’t get any penalty points.

How can I avoid paying a bus lane fine in the UK?

You’d have to make a successful appeal to avoid paying a bus lane fine. However, you must follow the right appeal process. Plus you’d have to respect the time limit linked to filing an appeal which is within 28 days of receiving the Charge Notice. If you wait longer than 28 days, you lose the right to contest the charge.

It’s also worth noting that only the ‘registered keeper’ can file an appeal against a bus lane fine! 

What happens if you don’t pay a bus lane ticket?

It’d be an expensive mistake to ignore a bus lane ticket. If you ignore a Notice to Owner and the Charge Certificate, the fine increases by 50%. In short, if the fine was £160, it’d go up to £240!

Moreover, a local council or the Police don’t have to take you to court to register a fine as a debt! Enforcement Officers could show up at your house and they have the power to seize items to sell at auction.

How long do you have to challenge a fine?

As mentioned, you must appeal a bus lane fine within 28 days of receiving a Charge Notice. Make sure you read the Notice carefully because some councils have a different process.

Also, make sure you send enough evidence with your appeal otherwise it will likely be rejected!

If your challenge is rejected

You’re sent a Notice of Rejection (NoR) and your appeal is rejected. You then have the option to settle the charge or you can escalate things to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. However, you could pay the fine instead.

You must file your appeal to the tribunal within 28 days of receiving the Notice of Rejection.

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

You must receive a Charge Notice within 28 days from the date the offence happened. After this, you have several options which I’ve detailed below:

  • Pay the fine within 14 days to benefit from a discounted amount

Pay the fine within 28 days but you’d have to pay the full amount

  • File an appeal against the bus lane fine within 28 days

What is a London bus lane?

Bus lane fines in London are expensive. It will set you back £160 but if you pay within 14 days, the amount is halved to £80.

That said if you don’t meet the 28-day deadline to pay a London bus lane fine, the amount increases by 50%. It means the fine will set you back £240.

How much is a London bus lane fine?

As mentioned, a London bus lane fine costs £160 and the charge notice is sent to the registered keeper.

If the fine is paid promptly within 14 days, the amount goes down to £80.

However, if you’re late paying a London bus lane fine, the amount goes up to a whopping £240.

Do all bus lanes in London have cameras?

The majority of London bus lanes have cameras. According to the Transport for London website, there are around 800 Traffic Enforcement CCTV cameras in operation in the capital. Some cover bus lanes whereas others don’t.

Do you get points for driving in a bus lane in London?

No. You won’t get any penalty points for driving in a London bus lane. There’s no risk of a fine affecting your motor insurance premium.

How can I avoid paying a bus lane fine in London?

You’d have to file your appeal in writing within 28 days and be sure that it’ll be accepted. It’s the only way you could avoid paying a London bus lane fine.

How do I challenge a bus lane fine (recap)?

Challenging bus lane fines isn’t easy because the incident is typically caught on camera! Even if you accidentally enter a bus lane and leave it within a few minutes, you’ll likely receive a fine.

There are some excuses which could get you out of paying, but make sure you have solid grounds for appealing a bus lane fine. If your appeal is rejected, you could end up paying 50% more than the original amount.

Don’t submit your appeal yet.

The best way to beat a bus lane fine is to get professional advice.

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

How to avoid paying
How to avoid paying

You can increase your chance of not paying a bus lane fine by getting legal advice. 

JustAnswer have a deal where a professional Solicitor will help you craft the perfect appeal.

And it’s just £5 to try!