Bus Lane PCN Appeals Process

The full extent of the appeals process can be confusing for some. This page looks to explain all the possible options there are to appeal right until the final London Tribunal stage.

Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notices are usually only served by post straight to the Registered Keeper of the vehicle.


When you first receive the Penalty Charge Notice

OPTION A: Informal Appeal
When receiving the PCN in the post you have 28 days to make an informal appeal by following the instructions on the ticket.

It is important to note this is not part of the formal enforcement process, Enforcement Authorities are not obliged to consider it.

OPTION B: Ignore
You have the option to completely ignore this notice if you wanted to. You will not be penalised in anyway. This is the process.

If after 28 days you do not pay or appeal, the formal process will start and Enforcement Authority will send an Enforcement Notice. This now means the keeper of the vehicle is liable regardless of who was driving.


Enforcement Notice received

OPTION A: Formal Appeal
You have 28 days to lodge a formal appeal to the Enforcement Authority regarding your ticket. If you appeal within 14 days, you are more likely to still get the discounted rate if rejected.

However, if you are planning to go all the way, then it is highly recommended to submit the appeal on the final day of the 28 day period. It proved to be a winning tactic within this case study.

OPTION B: Ignore
DO NOT IGNORE. You cannot ignore the PCN at this stage, if you do the council will peruse a County Court Judgement against you to recover the money.


Formal Appeal Rejected: Notice of Rejection Received

London Tribunals
The final stage of the appeals process is through the London Tribunals.

When you are rejected at the Formal Appeals (stage 2) the Enforcement Authority will issue a Notice of Rejection. With this they should provide a Notice of Appeal Form which is the paper form to send off your appeal via post. They should also provide a Verification Code to enable you to appeal online rather than the postal option. If they have not provided any of these then contact the Enforcement Authority.

You must appeal within 28 days.

Grounds of Appeal

For example, the vehicle was sold before or bought after the contravention occurred. You MUST supply the full name and address of the buyer or seller if you have it. Note: under the London Local Authorities Act 1996 the owner, not the driver, is normally liable for a penalty charge.

For example, the vehicle was not in a bus lane during its hours of operation/ the restrictions were not properly signed, the vehicle was exempt from the restrictions or the penalty exceeded the amount applicable.

For example, the vehicle was driven in the bus lane after being stolen.

Instead of the local authority imposing a civil penalty under their powers, the police are taking criminal action against the driver at the time of the alleged breach. This ground applies if the driver of the vehicle has received a Fixed Penalty Notice or a Notice of Intended Prosecution for the same breach.