Bus Lane Enforcement FAQs
Bus Lane CCTV Camera Enforcement FAQs
The answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to Bus Lanes and CCTV Enforcement covering the issue of Penalty Charge Notices and the appeals process.
General Bus Lane Information
The cameras and recording system have been approved under The Bus Lanes (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2005.
Penalty Charge Notices are issued under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and S.144 (5) Transport Act 2000.
- Increase bus service reliability and therefore;
- Improve bus passenger journey times;
- Encourage use of public transport - this supports an ongoing commitment by Birmingham City Council to increase the use of public transport and reduce traffic pollution and congestion; and
- Provide a safer lane for cyclists.
A bus only street or road is just that, i.e. a street or road which only buses are permitted to use. They are clearly marked on the ground at the entrance to the street or the road, along with signs showing permitted vehicles (and times of operation if applicable).
Regulations for signing of bus only streets is detailed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD).
A bus only street is a point restriction, therefore the contravention commences when the vehicle enters.
Permitted vehicles can vary from bus lane to bus lane, so you should check the signs at the start of the lane or bus only street before entering.
In the city centre where bus lane enforcement is being undertaken by the city council, only buses, coaches and pedal cycles are permitted to be in all bus lanes and bus only streets. Hackney carriages (black taxi cabs) and motorcycles are permitted in some areas only.
In other parts of the city, bus lanes may be used by buses, coaches, pedal cycles, motor cycles and hackney carriages. Private Hire Vehicles are not permitted to use any bus lanes in Birmingham.
Only emergency vehicles (on an emergency call or operational manoeuvre) are exempt from these restrictions.
- when directed to do so by a police officer in uniform;
- to avoid a collision or debris in the road; or
- owing to circumstances outside the control of the driver.
In all cases it is expected that the stay in the bus lane is as brief as possible.
Penalty Charge Notice & Appeals information
- By telephone – Automated payment line 0121 667 9300 (24 hours / 7 days a week). Credit /debit card payments only. Please have vehicle details and PCN number ready.
- Pay on-line - https://pcn.birmingham.gov.uk/userservices/. Please have vehicle details and PCN number ready.
- By post using the payment slip below to: Birmingham City Council, Highways, PO Box 77, Birmingham B4 7WA. Allow 2 working days for 1st class post and 5 working days for 2nd class post.
- Cash payments can be made at any Post Office if your documentation has a bar code printed on it. Please note, payments can not be made at PayPoint outlets.
Working days exclude Saturdays, Sundays, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, Good Friday and any other day which is a Bank Holiday in England and Wales. Birmingham City Council calculates the Date of Service for you and includes it on the Penalty Charge Notice.https://pcn.birmingham.gov.uk/userservices/.
Using the web service you can also pay the penalty charge or make a representation against paying the penalty charge. The Penalty Charge Notice itself should contain three images taken from the digital video recording of the alleged contravention.
I have received multiple bus lane PCNs on the same day, at the same time or within minutes of each other, is this correct and do I have to pay them all?Each occasion that a vehicle proceeds along a bus lane or enters and proceeds along a bus only road, constitutes a separate contravention of the restrictions and may result in an individual PCN being served. If the motorist has driven a route which includes a number of bus only roads/lanes on the same journey or has driven along the same bus only roads/lane more than once, this may result in multiple bus lane PCNs being correctly received, each of which remains enforceable.
Please note – If a motorist feels it is unfair that they have received multiple PCNs for the same journey (i.e. where two or more PCNs have the same or similar contravention time), it may be advisable to pay one PCN (taking advantage of the discount amount) and make a representation in respect of the other(s). This enables consideration of a request for discretionary withdrawal, which is only likely to be granted in respect of one PCN, where multiple PCNs have been issued as described above. However, it should be noted that each case is investigated and considered on its individual merits.
I have previously driven frequently through this location without being penalised, why have I now received a PCN?Bus Lane Enforcement by the Council in the city centre, commenced in July 2013. Prior to this, the enforcement of these restrictions was exclusively the responsibility of the police (as it still remains at locations with bus lane restrictions, outside the city centre).
Does it matter if I have previously never been to Birmingham city centre (I was unfamiliar with the area)?The bus lane restrictions are used nationwide and the signs in place to notify motorists of the prohibition, appear in the Highway Code (with which all motorists should be familiar). Motorists are expected to comply with the restrictions irrespective of their level familiarity with the local area.
- a) The alleged contravention did not occur,
- b) The penalty exceeded the relevant amount,
- c) The circumstances leading to the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice are subject to criminal proceedings or a Fixed Penalty Notice has been issued,
- d) I was not the owner/keeper of the vehicle at the time of the alleged contravention,
- e) I was not the hirer of the vehicle at the time of the alleged contravention,
- f) I was the registered owner/keeper of the vehicle on the date of the alleged contravention but the vehicle: was on hire to someone else, who had signed a statement taking liability; kept by a motor trader; or was being used without my consent at the time of the alleged incident.
The Council may consider mitigating circumstances, although the following reasons will not normally be accepted:
- “I was going to turn left at the next junction”
- “there were no buses in the bus lane at the time”
- “I was only in the lane for a few seconds”
- “there is not enough room at the junction to make the left turn”
- “I was lost”
- “I didn’t see the signs”.
- Post – to Birmingham City Council, Parking Section, Processing, Highways, PO Box 14438, Birmingham B2 2JD
- Fax to 0121 303 7797
- Online by visiting www.birmingham.gov.uk/pcn and clicking on the blue button.
You can make representations against the PCN within 28 days, beginning with the date of service. If you make representations, even within 14 days, the discounted rate of 50% will no longer be available as the ‘Notice to Owner’ has already been issued and the appeal is against the full charge of £60.
Please note:- there is no informal challenge against a Penalty Charge issued from CCTV evidence, as the ‘Notice to Owner’ is included in the Penalty Charge Notice.
The city council will send you a response. It will be either a ‘Notice of Acceptance of Representations’ or a ‘Notice of Rejection of Representations’.
If the city council rejects your representations, you have the right to appeal to an independent adjudication body call the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The legal grounds for appeal are included under the earlier question ‘Surely there must be a right of appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice?’ (a to f). The Council will enclose the appropriate form and give you the on-line details with the ‘Notice of Rejection of Representations’ to enable you to appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. Again if the Traffic Penalty Tribunal rejects your appeal, the amount payable will normally be the full £60.
For further information about the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, please visit their website:- www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk.
Further Information“Birmingham City Council – Guidelines for the consideration of Challenges and Representations against Penalty Charge Notices”.
Further information about Civil Parking and Bus Lane Enforcement (including PCNs and NTOs) is available online at www.patrol-uk.info or in a leaflet from the Council.