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Thread: Bus lane PCN

  1. #1
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    Bus lane PCN

    I got a penalty charge notice for driving in a bus lane the other day, and would like some opinions on whether its worth challenging. It was along the westbound Uxbridge Road in West Ealing, and I was caught on camera moving into the bus lane a few metres before it ended. The thing is though that there is this sign that tells you that the left lane is for turning left or going straight ahead:

    Bus lane by Stuart Thompson, on Flickr

    The camera that caught me is mounted above the sign.

    Is it unreasonable to assume that you can change lane as you approach the sign, and not only after it?

  2. #2
    Rectangular signs 'inform', so it isn't telling you what you have to do, just lets you know the lane situation.The sign below tells you where the end of the bus lane is.

    So together, I think you would struggle to challenge the PCN.

    I'm no traffic copper, but know my highway code, which is all you need really to answer the question.

  3. #3
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    If there's a thick white line you went over which marked the bus lane, you can be prosecuted. A friend of mine accidentally went over the white line just with the nearside wheels and got prosecuted.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    If there's a thick white line you went over which marked the bus lane, you can be prosecuted. A friend of mine accidentally went over the white line just with the nearside wheels and got prosecuted.
    Seems a massive waste of taxpayers money? Might as well just fine them for their minor infraction.

  5. #5

    Bus lane PCN

    Is it worth challenging? Why not. The good news is this is free and the timeline is frozen while the challenge is underway. The bad news is that the appeal goes to TfL and they rarely overturn their own decisions.

    So, if TfL decline your appeal you will have to go to the adjudicator, but in the mean time you lose the opportunity for the 50% reduction on the PCN if you pay within 14 days, so you may only want to go this route if you are fairly confident you have a good case.

    Head over to Pepipoo forum for more guidance and advice.

    I fought TfL over a yellow box junction that I strayed into, but there was barely any yellow markings left. Surprise, surprise TfL turned down my appeal, but the adjudicator found in my favour.

    The whole TfL appeal process is a con.

  6. #6
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    Iíve never understood why traffic laws are enforced so rigorously. 2m is ridiculous, the amount of additional pollution generated by cars idling is crazy

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodder View Post
    Iíve never understood why traffic laws are enforced so rigorously. 2m is ridiculous, the amount of additional pollution generated by cars idling is crazy
    2m What?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    Is it worth challenging? Why not. The good news is this is free and the timeline is frozen while the challenge is underway. The bad news is that the appeal goes to TfL and they rarely overturn their own decisions.

    So, if TfL decline your appeal you will have to go to the adjudicator, but in the mean time you lose the opportunity for the 50% reduction on the PCN if you pay within 14 days, so you may only want to go this route if you are fairly confident you have a good case.

    Head over to Pepipoo forum for more guidance and advice.

    I fought TfL over a yellow box junction that I strayed into, but there was barely any yellow markings left. Surprise, surprise TfL turned down my appeal, but the adjudicator found in my favour.

    The whole TfL appeal process is a con.
    This.
    Head over to pepidoo.
    Scour their forums and see if you can find an example similar to your predicament, for guidance for way forward.
    Good Luck

  9. #9
    Driving in London is just one massive game now where Ďtheyí try to catch you out and you try not to get caught. Youíll get stung for straying over the solid white line on a bus lane or if you get caught in the yellow box, these are cheap and easy to enforce, while driving at 30 or more or overtaking in a 20 zone seems to be perfectly acceptable. I canít wait to leave!

  10. #10
    Journeyman adamch66's Avatar
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    Challenge it, there's nothing to lose.

    I read somewhere that a rule of thumb is:
    - Did you travel more than 5 car lengths in the bus lane and
    - Were you trying to gain advantage over other motorists by using the bus lane

    OK, that's 2 rules of thumb, but you get my drift.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodder View Post
    Iíve never understood why traffic laws are enforced so rigorously. 2m is ridiculous, the amount of additional pollution generated by cars idling is crazy
    Lines need to be drawn (in the sand, rather than on the road), and if you stray beyond them, you get prosecuted. Imagine that you were allowed a 2m grace distance, as you seem to suggest. Then we would have the same threads started by those complaining that they were only 3m before the line, and why can't common sense be applied? The line is where it is, follow the rules.

    And as Rod suggested, I think you probably went over a solid white line, which is a no-no.

  12. #12
    Read your Highway Code, or maybe get the bus.

  13. #13
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougair View Post
    Driving in London is just one massive game now where ‘they’ try to catch you out and you try not to get caught. You’ll get stung for straying over the solid white line on a bus lane or if you get caught in the yellow box, these are cheap and easy to enforce, while driving at 30 or more or overtaking in a 20 zone seems to be perfectly acceptable. I can’t wait to leave!
    I'm out in Zone 5. I tend to only use the car when driving somewhere outside London. Much less stress and usually quicker within London to get most places by public transport IMO.

    When I previously drove, my worst drive used to be around Hammersmith. The roads could get so busy that normal traffic rules just broke down. I remember one set of lights around Hammersmith roundabout that had a box junction beyond it with enforcement camera. When the lights were green there was simply nowhere to go without ending up stopped in the box junction. I literally didn't know what to do...get a fine or forever sit at a changing traffic light?!

    Used to hate sitting in queues around the North Circular. So depressing!
    Last edited by Christian; 27th March 2022 at 20:32.

  14. #14
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodder View Post
    Iíve never understood why traffic laws are enforced so rigorously. 2m is ridiculous, the amount of additional pollution generated by cars idling is crazy
    There has to be some 'absolutes' otherwise laws/rules become impossible to enforce.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamch66 View Post
    Challenge it, there's nothing to lose.

    I read somewhere that a rule of thumb is:
    - Did you travel more than 5 car lengths in the bus lane and
    - Were you trying to gain advantage over other motorists by using the bus lane

    OK, that's 2 rules of thumb, but you get my drift.

    Good luck!
    Here is the footage of me in the bus lane. The lane only starts at the end of the zig-zags and ends where the camera is, so is little more than 5 car lengths long to begin with!

    F6CA81A4-3D5B-4932-AAE7-3B603AA60BB8 by Stuart Thompson, on Flickr

  16. #16
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Sure the bus lane markers arenít just superimposed by the crossing wavy lines, and therefor started a ways back?

    The wavy ones are safety markers, so are the ones which take priority at that point (with respect to what markings are on show)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Sure the bus lane markers arenít just superimposed by the crossing wavy lines, and therefor started a ways back?

    The wavy ones are safety markers, so are the ones which take priority at that point (with respect to what markings are on show)
    Yep, the bus lane starts and stops in several places along that stretch. In the background where you see the white car behind me, the road markings actually show to use both lanes


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  18. #18
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Honestly can't see a way to avoid this ticket despite the fact it's a meaningless fine with a totally empty road.

    I know it's dumb but even on those bus lanes that are only active between certain times, I tend to just stick in the normal lane "just in case".

  19. #19
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Does where the white youíve pointed out also have a bud lane?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuie-t View Post
    Here is the footage of me in the bus lane. The lane only starts at the end of the zig-zags and ends where the camera is, so is little more than 5 car lengths long to begin with!

    F6CA81A4-3D5B-4932-AAE7-3B603AA60BB8 by Stuart Thompson, on Flickr
    You are in the bus lane, pay the ticket.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_the_UK View Post
    There has to be some 'absolutes' otherwise laws/rules become impossible to enforce.
    "Absolutes" or strict liability ought to be reserved for safety critical rules and infractions. Proportionality is the guiding principle.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    "Absolutes" or strict liability ought to be reserved for safety critical rules and infractions. Proportionality is the guiding principle.
    Well luckily they're not.

    Suppose you'd like a team of people (at great cost) looking at a proportionate fine in every case. Caught by a camera, automatic fine, simple.

  23. #23
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Well luckily they're not.

    Suppose you'd like a team of people (at great cost) looking at a proportionate fine in every case. Caught by a camera, automatic fine, simple.
    Someone always has to examine the photo/footage anyway so some leniency might be shown in many cases. Like where the road is empty and the bus lanes are all 5m long and 200m apart? How are you supposed to navigate that if itís the first time youíve driven down there? This is assuming itís all about road safety and not in any way a rigged money-making exercise.

    I was Ďcaughtí with my back bumper over the far edge of a cross hatch. The video showed traffic was moving freely and as soon as I got to the end of the hatch, it stopped. Nothing I could do. I appealed and got let off. It was ridiculous and they should never have wasted money sending me the ticket and then assessing my appeal.

  24. #24
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuie-t View Post
    Yep, the bus lane starts and stops in several places along that stretch. In the background where you see the white car behind me, the road markings actually show to use both lanes
    Ah! I see what they have (had to have) done. They had to break the bus lane to allow cars to get past traffic waiting to turn right.

    You're stuck with the fine, I think though.

  25. #25
    Good luck.. I had one for bus lane as two/ three buses were turning right blocking the road, heavy traffic coming the other way so I used the end of empty bus on the left, my motorbike fractionally over the white line as it was wet. It's almost like they engineered that for max income generation...

  26. #26
    ISTM it is a bus lane throughout the image.

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    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  27. #27
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    This one's notorious up in Newcastle, I nearly went on it before the signage was changed..
    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news...-fine-22559918

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Someone always has to examine the photo/footage anyway so some leniency might be shown in many cases. Like where the road is empty and the bus lanes are all 5m long and 200m apart? How are you supposed to navigate that if itís the first time youíve driven down there? This is assuming itís all about road safety and not in any way a rigged money-making exercise.

    I was Ďcaughtí with my back bumper over the far edge of a cross hatch. The video showed traffic was moving freely and as soon as I got to the end of the hatch, it stopped. Nothing I could do. I appealed and got let off. It was ridiculous and they should never have wasted money sending me the ticket and then assessing my appeal.
    Does someone really look at them all - there was a case last year when someoneís t-shirt was mistaken for a number plate.
    Anyway a lot quicker to weed out stuff like this than make a judgement call on how far over the line, amount of traffic etc.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by stuie-t View Post
    Here is the footage of me in the bus lane. The lane only starts at the end of the zig-zags and ends where the camera is, so is little more than 5 car lengths long to begin with!

    F6CA81A4-3D5B-4932-AAE7-3B603AA60BB8 by Stuart Thompson, on Flickr
    I canít see the signage obviously but going by the road markings thatís a bus lane all the way down the road.

    - - - Updated - - -
    Last edited by dougair; 28th March 2022 at 12:15.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Well luckily they're not.

    Suppose you'd like a team of people (at great cost) looking at a proportionate fine in every case. Caught by a camera, automatic fine, simple.
    No, I'd like sensible and fair appeals processes to deal with reasonable excuses to strict liability, e.g. as we discussed previously moving through a red light or into a bus lane to allow an emergency vehicle to proceed.

  31. #31

    Bus lane PCN

    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Someone always has to examine the photo/footage anyway so some leniency might be shown in many cases. Like where the road is empty and the bus lanes are all 5m long and 200m apart? How are you supposed to navigate that if itís the first time youíve driven down there? This is assuming itís all about road safety and not in any way a rigged money-making exercise.

    I was Ďcaughtí with my back bumper over the far edge of a cross hatch. The video showed traffic was moving freely and as soon as I got to the end of the hatch, it stopped. Nothing I could do. I appealed and got let off. It was ridiculous and they should never have wasted money sending me the ticket and then assessing my appeal.
    Haha. You have obviously never dealt with TfL!

    Their grubby practices will squeeze every penny out of the motorist. They have no leniency. Full stop.

    I speak from bitter experience on several occasions.

    Since COVID TfL need money, and you can guarantee they will enforce the cash cow that is bus lanes/ULEZ/CC/yellow box junction/no right or left turns etc. etc. to the max.

  32. #32
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougair View Post
    I canít see the signage obviously but going by the road markings thatís a bus lane all the way down the road.

    - - - Updated - - -
    Pretty sure you are correct based on this Googlemaps street imagery:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5112...7i16384!8i8192

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    Pretty sure you are correct based on this Googlemaps street imagery:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5112...7i16384!8i8192
    The bus lane starts and stops at each junction along the road rather than being continuous to allow for turning lanes.
    Iíll probably have to just suck it up and pay but itís frustrating as i was only following the direction sign which showed left lane for turns


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    Pretty sure you are correct based on this Googlemaps street imagery:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5112...7i16384!8i8192

    You don't think that the bus lane has a temporary stop for the road on the left (to allow traffic to turn left in to it), and for the road on the right - so that vehicles don't get stuck behind traffic waiting to turn right?

    Without that - traffic would cease to flow.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by dougair View Post
    I canít see the signage obviously but going by the road markings thatís a bus lane all the way down the road.

    - - - Updated - - -
    I agree. The zigzag lines don't mean it's no longer a buslane, they are used either side of pedestrian crossings to indicate parking / overtaking is strictly prohibited. It's standard practice in the UK to use them in place of the solid white line either side of pedestrian crossings. Unless there is signage to state that the bus lane ends and then starts again, it is one continuous stretch of bus lane.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toshi View Post
    I agree. The zigzag lines don't mean it's no longer a buslane, they are used either side of pedestrian crossings to indicate parking / overtaking is strictly prohibited. It's standard practice in the UK to use them in place of the solid white line either side of pedestrian crossings. Unless there is signage to state that the bus lane ends and then starts again, it is one continuous stretch of bus lane.
    Then there is no point at which you can move into the bus lane - to turn left at the junction (look at the google-streetview). Similarly - you are stuck behind traffic waiting to turn right

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toshi View Post
    I agree. The zigzag lines don't mean it's no longer a buslane, they are used either side of pedestrian crossings to indicate parking / overtaking is strictly prohibited. It's standard practice in the UK to use them in place of the solid white line either side of pedestrian crossings. Unless there is signage to state that the bus lane ends and then starts again, it is one continuous stretch of bus lane.
    If you rotate the Google maps view round the other way youíll see that there is a junction and road markings showing to use both lanes.


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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    You don't think that the bus lane has a temporary stop for the road on the left (to allow traffic to turn left in to it), and for the road on the right - so that vehicles don't get stuck behind traffic waiting to turn right?

    Without that - traffic would cease to flow.
    The OP has driven along the bus lane shown in the first image, not turned left at the broken line where it is allowed.
    He could have turned left by entering the the bus lane at the broken lines, shown here:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5111...7i16384!8i8192

    https://birmingham.cmis.uk.com/Birmi...0its%20absence.
    Last edited by Maysie; 28th March 2022 at 13:39.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    The OP has driven along the bus lane shown in the first image, not turned left at the broken line where it is allowed.
    He could have turned left by entering the the bus lane at the broken lines, shown here:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5111...7i16384!8i8192

    https://birmingham.cmis.uk.com/Birmi...0its%20absence.
    That is what I have tried to say - the bus lane does temporarily allow access, then gets reinstated after the junctions/crossing. No matter what reason - vehicles are allowed in that section of 'bus lane' in that zone.

  40. #40
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    I wouldn't even bother fighting this one. I've seen a more unfair penalty notices than this that I thought we would clearly have a case but ended up having to pay. My wife was picking up her brother from Sutton who was waiting by the roadside and pulled over quite legally to the kerb side with no parking restrictions for him to get in. One of her wheels happened to be on a dropped kerb - literally on the edge of the kerb stone. At that moment a mobile enforcement van must have driven by and we got a PCN for parking on the pavement...despite the photo showing her in the driving seat and her brother getting into the car and about 10cm of tyre on the kerb edge. Appeal rejected. It's all about income generation in London.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Then there is no point at which you can move into the bus lane - to turn left at the junction (look at the google-streetview). Similarly - you are stuck behind traffic waiting to turn right
    Bus lanes have hashed lines at junctions, that is when you can move into them when turning. Those donít appear in the picture though.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    No, I'd like sensible and fair appeals processes to deal with reasonable excuses to strict liability, e.g. as we discussed previously moving through a red light or into a bus lane to allow an emergency vehicle to proceed.
    Moving through a red light to allow an emergency vehicle to proceed is a no-no and not a reasonable excuse in law.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggertech View Post
    Moving through a red light to allow an emergency vehicle to proceed is a no-no and not a reasonable excuse in law.
    Missing the point really which was proportionality. Is it proportionate for an automated system to apply a penalty when a rule has been breached when it's unlikely a reasonable person would wish to apply a fine in the same circumstance, considering all the facts and context. I do not think we should be punishing people who carefully move across a traffic control line/box to facilitate emergency vehicles and I think that law is an ass. I'd prioritise emergencies over minor infractions of traffic rules.
    Last edited by ernestrome; 29th March 2022 at 08:35.

  44. #44
    Master Ruggertech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    Missing the point really which was proportionality. Is it proportionate for an automated system to apply a penalty when a rule has been breached when it's unlikely a reasonable person would wish to apply a fine in the same circumstance, considering all the facts and context. I do not think we should be punishing people who carefully move across a traffic control line/box to facilitate emergency vehicles and I think that law is an ass. I'd prioritise emergencies over minor infractions of traffic rules.
    No point has been missed. Moving through a red light to allow an emergency vehicle access is simply illegal. You do it, you pay, any appeal, if possible is a waste of everybody's time and money. The law in this regard and many others may well be an ass, I can see your point, but it is what it is.

  45. #45
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    Having been caught out with this before, I agree with ruggertech on this. Unless you feel like personally paying the fine to save the ambulance 1 minute which may or may not make any difference, just don't do it. They shouldn't be sat behind you with blues and twos on either.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Having been caught out with this before, I agree with ruggertech on this. Unless you feel like personally paying the fine to save the ambulance 1 minute which may or may not make any difference, just don't do it. They shouldn't be sat behind you with blues and twos on either.
    Once moved over to allow a police discovery past me in Dorset - picked up an immediate puncture for my troubles ................ £120.

  47. #47
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    End of the bus lane is where it says "End of Bus Lane" it really is that simple.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scepticalist View Post
    End of the bus lane is where it says "End of Bus Lane" it really is that simple.
    I don't disagree, but then the direction sign above it is a bit misleading given its prominence. It would be clearer if the direction lines were a Y shape showing that the right lane divides into 2, not 2 separate parallel lanes which suggest there are already 2 lanes of traffic. e.g.

    sign by Stuart Thompson, on Flickr

    rather than this:

    Bus lane by Stuart Thompson, on Flickr

  49. #49
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    ^^^
    I think the broken line on the sign above is the subtle (but very significant) point which means any appeal you lodge is likely to fall onto deaf ears.

  50. #50
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    It looks like you were driving an Audi so I'm pretty sure that makes you guilty, just be glad you're not being fined for not indicating when you moved lanes .

    I sympathise as I could have done similar, especially in a city I'm unfamiliar with (and Mrs Drd did similar in Durham recently when following a diversion) but it certainly seems you'd be wasting your time appealling (Mrs Drd paid up).

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