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Bus Lane Fine London – Should I Pay or Appeal?

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Did you receive a bus lane fine in London and wondering what to do next? You’re at the right place for answers. Every month, over 130,000 people turn to our website for guidance on fines and parking tickets.

This article will help you understand:

  • What is a bus lane fine in London.
  • If paying London bus lane fines is a must.
  • How you might avoid or appeal a bus lane fine in London.
  • The cost of a London bus lane fine.
  • What happens if you accidentally drive in a bus lane in London.

In 2021, Churchill Motor Insurance reported an 8% increase in penalty charge notices in Britain, with over 5.2 million issued. 1 So it’s quite common to feel concerned about PCNs.

We understand your worries, and we’re here to share useful advice and examples to assist you.

What is a London bus lane?

A bus lane is a lane reserved for use by buses with at least 10 seats, licensed taxis, motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and bicycles.

The types of vehicles that are allowed to use them can vary in different parts of London, so also check the sign on the bus lane.

They are part of the London transport system and are found in central urbanised areas, especially city centres, and they are common within London.

The purpose of bus lanes and bus lane regulations is to help public transport and some road users to avoid congestion in major city routes. This allows public transport timetables to remain accurate and reliable for its users.††

Bus lanes can be in effect all of the time, or they are only in effect during certain hours.

Roadside signage should tell you when the bus lane is operational, so you don’t drive a car or other banned vehicle into the lane when you shouldn’t.†

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

The only way to avoid paying a bus lane fine in London is to make a successful appeal, which would cancel the Penalty Charge Notice.

If you believe you have valid reasons for appeal, you must follow the legal routes to challenge fines and appeal in writing to the council or online by the deadline with a truthful excuse that will be accepted and provide any evidence for consideration.

If you ignore a bus lane fine in London, the fine can be increased by 50%, and it could even be registered as a debt in court.

A court order could then be served to make you pay, and if you still refuse, bailiffs could get involved.†

You can use this great template to help you make your appeal: PCN Appeal Letter Template ‚Äì Free Sample.

If you appeal and are rejected and disagree with the decision, you can take your case to an†independent tribunal.†

Appeal process steps

To help you better understand how to appeal your PCN, I’ve created this quick table. If you want to learn more about penalty charge notices, be sure to read our detailed guide.

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

You don’t get penalty points on your driving license if you mistakenly enter a bus lane when you shouldn’t.

You can only be fined via a Penalty Charge Notice.

Because you won’t get points on your license for a bus lane contravention, your driving record won’t be affected and you don’t have to worry about the incident causing your vehicle insurance premiums to increase

How much is a London bus lane fine?

A London bus lane fine will cost £160, but it’s reduced to £80 if the vehicle keeper pays within 14 days. If the fine isn’t paid by the deadline, it will increase

Traffic penalty charges do vary around the country.

The cost of a bus lane fine London is considerably more expensive than in other parts of the UK.

Most local authorities outside of London charge the vehicle keeper £60 for these contraventions, and they can also be reduced by 50% to £30 for paying within 14 days.†

If you have no good reason to appeal the fine, taking advantage of the early payment discount can save you £80 in London, so I see it as well worth doing. 

Do all bus lanes in London have cameras?

Most bus lanes in London have cameras that are used as traffic surveillance to identify bus lane entries by unauthorised vehicles. 

In 2017, someone made an FOI request to Transport for London, asking them to disclose the location of all their bus lane cameras.

They received a response. This link includes further information and an attachment listing all of Transport for London’s bus lane camera locations.†

Bus lane fine London – pay or appeal?

If you don’t have an honest and good reason to appeal a bus lane fine, any appeal you make will be rejected, and you’ll end up having to pay the full bus lane fine amount.

Therefore, only appeal if you’re certain that you have a legitimate excuse.

If you don’t, make sure to pay within 14 days to save £80. From my experience, seeking appropriate legal advice if you’re unsure whether to appeal can be a good idea.


  1. Direct Line Group — Parking Fines Statistics


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Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.