Bus gate or bus lane enforcement

How we enforce bus gates, bus lanes and other moving traffic restrictions.

1 Overview

Bus lanes and bus gates are dedicated lengths of road that are kept free to:

  • improve bus reliability
  • ease congestion
  • manage the impact of traffic on the environment.

Bus lanes - are dedicated lanes restricted to public transport and, where specified, taxis and other authorised vehicles. They are marked by a solid thick white line and the words ‘Bus Lane’ are periodically marked on the road. There are warning signs of the bus lane restriction ahead, and again, at the point where the restriction starts.

Bus gates - are short, signposted stretches of road along which use is restricted to public transport and, where specified, taxis and other authorised vehicles. Bus gates normally have the words ‘Bus Gate’ marked on the road. There are warning signs of the bus gate restriction ahead, and again at the point where the restriction starts.

2 Enforcement

Enforcement of bus lanes and bus gates is carried out via Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).

This is facilitated through the Transport Act 2000, S.44.4, Civil Penalties for Bus Lane Contraventions. This enables the issuing of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for contraventions where a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, S.1.3a is in place.

Current enforcement

At present, the only bus lanes in West Sussex are in Crawley and we have yet to introduce CCTV/ANPR enforcement at this location.

We began CCTV/ANPR enforcement of our bus gates in April 2022 at:

  • Tasman Way/Celadine Road – West Durrington
  • Spine Road - Copthorne
  • Sullivan Drive – Kilnwood Vale
  • Dereham Way/Hills Farm Lane and Boulevard/Dareham Way/Highwood – Horsham
  • A281 – Broadbridge Heath

All sites operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Permitted vehicles include:

  • timetabled local service buses and school buses
  • pedal cycles (not mopeds/motorcycles)
  • emergency vehicles on an emergency response.

3 Paying a PCN

For the first two weeks of bus gate operation at a particular site, vehicles contravening the bus gate restriction will be sent warning letters in place of PCNs. After this initial period, PCNs will be sent through the post.

A PCN/NtO (Notice to Owner) will be sent to the vehicle's registered owner, keeper or hirer within 28 days of the alleged contravention. This will include photos as evidence.

The NtO will explain:

  • where and when the PCN was issued
  • why it was issued
  • how much is payable
  • how to challenge the PCN.

The penalty charge currently stands at £70, discounted to £35 if paid within 21 days. Failure to pay or challenge the issue of a PCN within 28 days of it being served will result in the charge increasing by 50 per cent to £105.

Ways to pay

You can pay your PCN 24 hours a day online or over the phone. Please have the vehicle registration details and the PCN number ready:

4 Disputing a PCN

You can challenge a PCN online within 28 days of the date of your letter. Please follow the instructions on the PCN or use the online form:

Make your appeal online (external link)

If you appeal against the PCN within 14 days after receiving it and your appeal is rejected, the County Council will generally extend the period of 50 per cent discount for payment.

Please note that your case will be placed on hold and will not progress while we deal with your representation. We will aim to respond to you in writing within 30 days, but in busy periods this may take longer.

We are unable to deal with fine appeals over the phone. You will need to submit your appeal online or in writing to: Processing department, c/o Worthing Borough Council, PO Box 3584, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 9EF.

If the local council rejects your challenge

You have the right to appeal to an independent adjudication body, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, if we reject your challenge. The legal grounds for appeal are included on the PCN. We will send you details with the 'Notice of Rejection of Representations'.

If planned works on the highway requires a diversion through a bus gate or bus lane, then the restriction and enforcement will be temporarily suspended. If a police officer is directing traffic through the gate, for instance as an emergency unplanned diversion during an accident, then all traffic will be allowed through. In such cases a PCN may still be issued, but there will be a mitigating reason that can be represented during an appeal if records show the route was being used as an official diversion.

5 Your privacy

Please see our privacy notice for details of how we manage your personal data regarding:

  • civil on/off street parking
  • penalty charge notices and appeals
  • permit administration.

6 Other moving traffic restrictions

The Department for Transport has recently published an advice note to all local authorities in England regarding the potential use of CCTV and ANPR cameras to enforce various ‘moving traffic’ restrictions on the public highway.

Typical examples of restrictions that could be enforced by ANPR cameras include:

  • box junctions
  • goods vehicles exceeding the maximum gross weight indicated
  • no right/left turn for vehicular traffic
  • entry to and waiting in a pedestrian zone
  • route for use by buses, pedal cycles, and taxis only
  • one way traffic
  • no entry for vehicular traffic
  • no U-turns for vehicular traffic
  • motor vehicles prohibited
  • entry to and waiting in a pedestrian and cycle zone
  • vehicular traffic must proceed in the direction indicated by the arrow
  • route for use by pedal cycles only
  • route for use by pedal cycles and by pedestrians only
  • vehicular traffic must turn ahead in the direction indicated by the arrow
  • priority given to vehicles from the opposite direction.

Currently, the County Council only uses CCTV/ANPR cameras to enforce bus gates. We are considering their future use in bus lanes as well as the use of pan tilt zoom equipment to monitor traffic on the busiest roads in the county.

There are no immediate plans to take on the powers to enforce any other moving traffic restrictions.

Last updated:
17 May 2022
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