The Civil Bus Lane Enforcement process: I have received a bus lane ticket

Step 2:

Should I Pay or Challenge?

If you receive a bus lane PCN you must pay or challenge it quickly. You should not ignore it.

You should always quote the PCN number in any letters or phone calls with the council.

You have 14 days from the day the notice is served (this is presumed to be two working days from the date of the issue of the notice) to pay at the discounted rate, 50% of the Penalty Charge.

(Please note, challenging the PCN within the 14 day period may, in some cases freeze the discounted rate but this is not always the case - you need to check with the individual council)

The following are ways that you can challenge a bus lane PCN.

1. The alleged bus lane contravention did not occur

For example:
the signs and lines were wrong
the vehicle was permitted to be in the bus lane
the vehicle was not in the bus lane.

2. The penalty exceeded the relevant amount

This means that the council has asked for more than it was entitled to under the relevant Regulations.

3. The police are already taking action

Either:
the alleged contravention is the subject of criminal proceedings; or
a Fixed Penalty Notice, as defined by Section 52 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, has been issued for the same incident.

The appellant is not liable to pay a penalty, because:

4. The appellant did not own the vehicle when the alleged bus lane contravention occurred

For example:
They never owned it
They sold it before - or bought it after - the date of the contravention. The appellant should provide information about the transaction, including the new or former owner's name and address, if known.
Some long-term leasing arrangements have the effect of transferring keepership from the registered keeper to the hirer.

5. The owner is a vehicle hire firm and:
(i) the vehicle was on hire under a qualifying hiring agreement; and
(ii) the hirer had signed a statement of liability for any PCN issued during the hire period.

This ground applies only to formal hire agreements where the hirer has signed an agreement accepting liability for penalty charges. The requirements are specific. They are contained in Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic (Owner Liability) Regulations 2000 and Section 66 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. The appellant should provide the hirer's name and address and a copy of the agreement.

6. The appellant was the hirer of the vehicle at the time but did not enter into an agreement assuming liability for any contraventions

This applies when the PCN has been served on the appellant on the basis that they had the vehicle on hire under an agreement that placed liability for any contravention on them, but there is no such agreement.

7. When the bus lane contravention occurred, the vehicle was kept by a trader

This applies if, although the appellant owned the vehicle at the time, the vehicle was kept by a vehicle dealer, auctioneer, scrap yard, insurer or had been repossessed.

8. When the bus lane contravention occurred, the vehicle had been taken without the appellant's consent

This ground covers stolen vehicles and vehicles used without the owner's consent. It could apply, for example, to a vehicle taken by "joy-riders". It does not generally apply to vehicles in the possession of a garage or borrowed by a relative or friend. If possible, the appellant should supply a Crime Reference Number from the police.


Download this diagram from the PATROL leaflet explaining the parking penalty enforcement process

parking penalty enforcement process diagram