Notices of charges for driving in the bus lane

Bus lane rules

Local councils have cameras that are used to enforce bus lane rules. You might be issued a charge notice by your local council if you do not follow bus lane rules. This is a civil matter and not a criminal offense.

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These enforcement powers are not available to all local councils. For this offense, the police may issue a fixed penalty notice.

Receipt of a Charge Notice

Your local council may issue a notice of charge if you have used a bus lane in an illegal manner. The notice must be sent to you within 28 days of your driving in the buslane.

You will be given 28 days to pay the charges. If you pay within 14 days, the local council may reduce your charge.

You can agree to pay the amount requested by the council if you admit that you have committed the offence. You will find the payment instructions in your charge notice.

The owner of the vehicle will receive the charge notice. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for the payment. It’s a good idea for you to speak to the person who received the charge notice if they were driving your car with permission. They might be willing to pay.

If you don’t pay

If you do not appeal the charge notice, and you fail to pay it on time, the local council will issue a ‘notice of owner’ reminding you to make payment. The council will send you a notice to owner if you fail to pay the charge notice on time. If this happens, the amount that you have to pay will increase by 50%.

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Although you will have to pay the local authority, you won’t be charged with a criminal offense.

The local council can file the debt with the court if you don’t pay. The sheriff can be used to collect the charge.

Appeal against a Charge Notice

You can appeal against the charge notice to the local council if you disagree that you have committed the offence. You must appeal the charge notice within 28 days. You will find the charge notice describing how and when you can appeal.

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Appealing might be something you want to do because:

You didn’t have the vehicle at the time it was incorrectly driven in the bus lanes. This can be proven by providing a receipt or a copy the DVLA registration.

The alleged offense didn’t occur, for example because there weren’t any rules in place when you drove in bus lane.

You were not aware that someone else was driving your vehicle.

What will the local council do next?

Your case must be considered by the local council. It will then let you know if your appeal has been accepted or rejected.

If the council accepts your appeal it will cancel your charge notice.

If the council denies your appeal, it will send you a “notice of rejection”. You will be provided with instructions on how to appeal to the General Regulatory Chamber.

If you do not wish to appeal further, the charge will be payable. This charge will likely not be reduced from the initial offer.

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Appealing against a local council decision

You can appeal the decision of the local council to the General Regulatory Chamber if you are still unhappy. Within 28 days after receiving the rejection notice, you must appeal.

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