A-Z

Bus Lanes

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions and answers below relate to bus lanes and enforcement covering the issue of Penalty Charge Notices and the appeals process.

How are bus lanes authorised?
How are bus lanes made?
How are bus lanes enforced?
Where does information about bus lanes appear in the Highway Code?
Where are the bus lanes in Tameside?
Who can drive in a bus lane when it’s in operation?
Can Blue Badge holders use bus lanes?
Can I park in a bus lane?
Can I load in a bus lane?
What if I am not familiar with the area?
What happens if I am caught driving in a bus lane by the cameras?
What happens to the data that the camera captures?
What is a contravention?
What is a Penalty Charge Notice?
How much do I have to pay?
What is the date of service?
Can I view my contravention?
How do I challenge a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice?
Is there a right of appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice?
Can I pay the charge and make representations to contest it?
What will happen if I ignore the bus lane Penalty Charge Notice and all correspondence sent out to me by the council?
How do I appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal?
What happens to the money collected by the Council from bus lane enforcement?

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How are bus lanes authorised?

Bus lanes are created by Traffic Regulation Orders using powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. A ‘Bus Lane’ is defined in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 1994 as a traffic lane reserved for buses (and pedal cycles and taxis (hackney carriages) where indicated by the signs). A ‘Bus Gate’ is a short section of road blocked off to all traffic except buses, cycles and taxis (hackney carriages) as shown by appropriate signage.

How are bus lanes made?

Tameside MBC have implemented Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) using the powers which have been granted to it, as the local Highway Authority, by the Road Traffic Act 1984. TROs are made to regulate speed, movement (including access restrictions) and parking of vehicles. This includes limitations being placed on certain sections of the carriageway to prevent specific vehicles from accessing the area at various times.

How are bus lanes enforced?

Powers were granted for civil enforcement of traffic contraventions by approved Local Authorities in the Traffic Management Act 2004. Tameside MBC is an approved Local Authority under the Bus Lane Contraventions (Approved Local Authorities) (England) Order 2005 for the purposes of S.144 of the Transport Act 2000 (civil penalties for bus lane contraventions).

The cameras and recording system have been approved under the Bus Lane (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2005

Where does information about bus lanes appear in the Highway Code?

Rule 141 of the Highway Code gives the general rules for bus lanes as below:-

Bus lanes. are shown by road markings and signs that indicate which (if any) other vehicles are permitted to use the bus lane. Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation

Where are the bus lanes in Tameside?

The locations are as follows:-

Site Number Location Town Times in operation
Site 1
Contra-flow Bus and Pedal Cycle Lane
Wellington Rd (north side) from its junction with Albion St to its junction with Harley St Ashton under Lyne All Days
All Hours
Site 2
Bus, Taxi and Pedal Cycle Lane
Oldham Rd (west side) – from a point 21m south of its junction with Atlas St to its junction with Langham St Ashton under Lyne Mon – Fri
7am to 10am
and
4pm to 7pm
Site 3
Bus, Taxi and Pedal Cycle Lane
Oldham Rd From a point 30m south of its junction with Vale St to a point 50m north of its junction with Bishop Cl. Ashton under Lyne Mon – Fri
7am – 10am
and
4pm to 7pm
Site 4
Bus, Taxi and Pedal Cycle Lane
Oldham Rd (west side)- from a point 36m south of its junction with Cranbourne Rd to a point 15m north of its junction with Cranbrook St Ashton under Lyne Mon – Fri
7am to 10am
and
4pm to 7pm
Site 5
Bus, Taxi and Pedal Cycle Lane
Audenshaw Rd – (south side) from a point 55 m west of its junction with Ash Street for a distance of 183m in a westerly direction. Audenshaw Mon – Fri
7am to 10am
and
4pm to 7pm
Site 6
Bus, Taxi and Pedal Cycle Lane
Manchester Road South – from a point 110m west of its junction with Seymour St to a point 33m east of its junction with Alphagate Dve. Denton  Mon – Fri
7am to 10am
and
4pm -7pm
Site 7 Audenshaw Rd Audenshaw Mon – Fri
7am to 10am
and
4pm to 7pm
Site 8 New Beech Street
Contra Flow Hyde
Hyde All Days
All hours

 

Who can drive in a bus lane when it is in operation?

Only buses, taxis (Hackney Carriages) and pedal cyclists can use the bus lane during its hours of operation. The definition of a bus lane contained in the Traffic Signs Regulation and Directions 2002 is ‘motor vehicles constructed or adapted to carry more than eight passengers (exclusive of the driver) . Therefore, a bus must have a minimum of 10 seats including the driver.

Can Blue Badge holders use bus lanes?

As with other forms of moving traffic offences, disabled drivers are not exempt from bus lane enforcement measures and penalty charge notices.

Can I park in a bus lane?

Parking is not allowed in a bus lane even when a Blue (Disabled) Badge is displayed.

Can I load in a bus lane?

Not unless the signage specifies that loading is permitted or outlines the times during which loading/unloading can be undertaken.

What if I am not familiar with the Area?

The bus lane contraventions apply in many areas nationwide and there are signs and lines in place to notify motorists clearly in the Tameside area. Information is also available in the Highway Code.

What happens if I am caught driving in a bus lane by the cameras?

You can expect to receive a Penalty Charge Notice addressed to the registered keeper of the vehicle. It will contain details of the alleged contravention, details of the vehicle and photographs

What happens to the data that the camera captures?

The cameras record images of vehicles contravening the bus lane. The information is stored securely and held in line with the Council’s data storage policy. All data is maintained as per the stipulations of the Data Protection Acts 1998 and 2003.

What is a contravention?

A bus lane contravention begins where a vehicle breaks and crosses the solid white dividing line between the bus lane and the remainder of the carriageway without good reason during its time of operation.
A bus gate contravention is when an unauthorised vehicle passes the regulatory traffic signs.

What is a Penalty Charge Notice?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is a penalty for contravention of regulations. This is served on the registered owner/keeper of the vehicle if a contravention occurs.

How much do I have to pay?

The penalty charge is £60.00 however, if payment is made within 14 days of the date of service, this will be reduced to £30.00. This will be explained on the Notice to Owner along with details of how to pay.

What is the Date of Service?

The Date of Service is defined as “service of a notice or charge certificate contained in a letter sent by first class post which has properly been addressed, pre-paid and posted shall, unless the contrary is provided, be taken to have been effected on the second working day after the day of posting”. 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 and Council concessionary days,

Can I view my contravention?

The Penalty Charge Notice will contain images taken from the recording of the alleged contravention. Photographs will be included when you are sent a Notice to Owner. The full digital image can be viewed on line via the web.

How do I challenge a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice?

If you believe that the bus lane penalty should not be paid, you may wish to make a formal representation against the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice/Notice to Owner document. Do not pay if you wish to make a formal representation. Please note that the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time the contravention occurred is liable for the payment of the penalty charge.

All formal representations must be made in writing, this is so that they can be fully considered and can be reproduced should the penalty charge case progress to independent adjudication via the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. If you wish to make a formal representation you must follow the instructions on the Penalty Charge Notice /Notice to Owner document you have been sent.

All cases will be considered on their individual circumstances and you will be sent notification on whether your formal representation has been accepted or rejected by Tameside Council. Your penalty charge case will be placed on hold and held at the amount currently outstanding whilst we consider your formal representation.

If you submit your formal representation within 14 days beginning with the date on which the Penalty Charge Notice was served and the formal representation is rejected, the Council will re-offer the discount period. You will be given a further 14 days from the date of the Council’s rejection letter to pay at the £30 discount amount. If the formal representation is submitted outside of the discount period the full £60 penalty charge will be payable if your formal representation is rejected.

Is there a right of appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice?

Yes there is a right of appeal. The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charge Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2004 (SI No 2757 ) sets out six grounds on which you make representation to the Council. These are listed below:

  • The alleged contravention did not occur
  • The penalty charge exceeds the relevant amount
  • The circumstances leading to the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice are subject to criminal proceedings or a Fixed Penalty Notice has been issued.
  • I was not the owner / keeper of the vehicles at the time of the alleged contravention
  • I was not the hirer of the vehicle at the time of the alleged contravention
  • I was the registered owner/keeper of the vehicle at 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 alleged time of the incident.

The Council will also consider mitigating circumstances

Tameside Council will send you a response which will either be a “Notice of Acceptance of Representations” or a “Notice of Rejection of Representations”. If the Council rejects your representations, you have the right to appeal to an independent adjudication body called the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The Council will enclose the appropriate forms to enable you to appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal with the “Notice of Rejection of Representations”. If the Traffic Penalty Tribunal rejects your appeal, the amount payable will be £60.00.

For further information about the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, please click the following link to visit the website Traffic Penalty Tribunal and the appeals process

Can I pay the charge and make representations to contest it?

Payment should only be made if the matter is not contested. Consideration will not be given to representations received in respect of a case which has been paid and closed.

What will happen if I ignore the bus lane Penalty Charge Notice and all correspondence sent out to me by the council?

The following statutory documents are served by the Council in relation to a Penalty Charge Notice:-

  • Penalty Charge Notice/Notice to Owner (a combined Penalty Charge Notice/Notice to Owner is sent for bus lane PCNs)
  • Charge Certificate
  • Order For Recovery (TE3)
  • Warrant of Control (PE12)

Failure to pay the amount outstanding will result in the Council taking action against you/the registered keeper to recover the amount due. The debt will be registered at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at the Northampton County Court. The Order for Recovery (TE3) is sent to advise that a debt has been registered; this also adds a further £8.00 debt registration fee onto the amount outstanding.

If the amount still remains unpaid a warrant may then be issued to Bailiffs (Enforcement Agents) to seize your goods. This will incur additional costs for which you will also be liable. The initial Bailiff referral fee is an additional £75.00 (plus vat) which increases in accordance with The 'Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014'.

How do I appeal the Traffic Penalty Tribunal?

Making an appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is the final stage of disputing the issue of a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal is independent from the Council and there is no charge to make an appeal. You may only appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if you have first made a formal representation to the Council (in response to the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice/ Notice to Owner) and have received a 'Notice of Rejection of Formal Representations' in response. All appeals made to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal are against the full penalty charge amount of £60.00.

A 'Notice of Appeal' form will be attached to the 'Notice of Rejection of Formal Representations' you must complete this form if you wish to appeal to an independent adjudicator and send it to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. This must be done within 28 days of service of the Council's 'Notice of Rejection of Formal Representations'.

You can choose to have your appeal considered by post, or you may have a hearing with the adjudicator either in person or over the telephone. The adjudicator will make a decision, which is binding to both you and the Council. Follow the link for further information on the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and the appeals process

If the Adjudicator dismisses your appeal and you do not pay within 28 days, you will be sent a Charge Certificate, which increases the amount, owed by 50% to £90.00.

What happens to the money collected by the Council from bus lane enforcement?

The income from Penalty Charge Notices pays the cost of the enforcement. This includes the administration staff involved in collecting the fines, maintenance of signs and lines and other associated costs. Any surplus remaining after deduction of costs has to go towards measures to improve public transport or other highway associated improvements.