The Motorists' Guide to Appealing Parking, Bus Lane, Yellow Box Junction and Moving Traffic Tickets

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Bus Lanes
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Bus lanes are increasingly being enforced by CCTV. Every lane has unique hours of operation which can easily lead to drivers being confused and ending up with a 130 fine. If you’ve received a bus lane ticket, go through this check list before you pay! Bus lane signs and markings must conform with government regulations and if they don’t, you can appeal. Also check here to see if your bus lane ticket complies with the law. Please note the requirements for bus only streets are different, details below. However outside London they are still called 'bus lanes' on tickets (this causes a lot of confusion).

 

 

1. Hours of Operation

2. Signs

3. The Design of Signs

4. Roadmarkings

5. Traffic Order

 

Summary of bus lane Regulations

Examples of Non Compliant Bus Lanes

 

Bus Only Streets and Bus Gates

Examples of Non Compliant Bus Only Streets 

 

CCTV Camera Requirements

 

1. Hours of Operation

 

The first thing you should check is the signs to ensure you were in the bus lane during its hours and day of operation. Outside these times the bus lane is open to all traffic.

 

A bus lane which states ‘At any time’ or has no hours of operation on the sign operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A sign with hours but no days operates 7 days a week.

 

All signs denoting the bus lane should have consistent hours and days of operation. If they don’t then this is grounds for an appeal.

 

2. Signs

 

Bus lanes must be fully signed throughout their length. This includes:

 

An advance sign to warn there is a bus lane ahead and give you time to change lanes. This should be cited 30m in advance of the taper where the speed limit is 30mph and 45m in advance where it is over 30mph (see below1)

A sign at the start of the lane (ie the commencement of the thick white line)

Repeater signs at regular intervals (approximately every 300m) and after  every side road.

If you enter the road with the bus lane from a side road you may see one of these signs. Ensure the hours of operation (if any) are the same as those on the main road.

 

3. Roadmarkings

 

A bus lane should be commenced by a diagonal taper in the form of a dashed line approximately 30m long to give drivers time to change lane (see below2)

It must be denoted by a thick solid white line.

The words ‘Bus Lane’ should be written at the start of the lane and at at regular intervals (approximately every 300m) and/or at the commencement of every side road. Please note there is NO requirement for red surfacing.

 

4. The Design of Signs

 

The start and repeater bus lane signs should look like one of these pictures. The word ‘taxi’ may be added and the bus symbol should show either a full bus or a bus with the word ‘local’ written in it. The motorcycle symbol is now permitted as a result of a 2011 TSRGD amendment. Any other variation is invalid unless it has specific DfT approval. Hours of operation can be added underneath. The same rules apply to the advance bus lane sign.

 

5. Traffic Order

 

Each bus lane must be covered by a Traffic Order which stipulates the exact location of the lane and its hours of operation and this must match the signs. 

 

No traffic order means the bus lane cannot be enforced and is grounds for appeal. Any difference between the hours or days of operation on the traffic order compared to the signs is also grounds for appeal. Traffic orders are public documents and can be viewed by contacting the relevant local authority. 

 

Summary of the Regulations

 

Click on the diagram below to see a summary of the signing and roadmarking requirements of a bus lane. To produce this summary the sign details have been taken from the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions  (TSRGD) 2002 and the general layout from Chapter 3 (for signs) and Chapter 5 (for roadmarkings) of the Traffic Signs Manual. Please note though that the latter documents are guidance only.

 

You can cross a bus lane to enter into a private access. However you may not drive up a bus lane to turn left, even for a short distance. You can only enter the lane to turn left into a side road where the solid white line ends.

 

Click on Image for larger picture

 

Examples of Non Compliant Bus Lanes 

When writing an appeals letter, simply mentioning the fact that for instance the sign is missing (with photos as evidence) would suffice. However in these examples, the text refers to the full legislation. There is no need to do this but it does show that you know what you're talking about. Also bear in mind that some of the staff dealing with appeals will not understand the legislation themselves, so quoting it may save the hassle of an appeal having to go to the adjudicator.

 

This bus lane has no sign at its start

Text for an appeals letter:

This bus lane is unenforceable as it does not have a sign to diagram 959 at the start in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002.

 

Wrong bus symbol

Text for an appeals letter:

The signs for this bus lane do not comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 as the bus symbol is not a permitted variant of diagram 959.

 

In the example below, a bus lane in Fortess Road, Camden had to be changed because of this situation. Hundreds of drivers paid fines when caught on cctv, unaware of this discrepancy before an eagle eyed motorist informed the local paper.

 

Incorrect roadmarkings

Text for an appeals letter:

The roadmarkings for this bus lane do not comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. The words bus and cycle lane are only permitted for contra flow, not normal with flow bus lanes as specified in diagram 1048.1.

 

Incorrect design

Text for an appeals letter:

The word 'taxi' on this sign is underneath rather than 'alongside' the cycle symbol, and is thus not a permitted variant of diagram 959

 

Is the design of this sign legal? One for the adjudicators to decide........

Text for an appeals letter:

The design of this sign does not conform with diagrams 959 and 961 from the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. The cycle symbol is in the wrong location and the phrase 'Any day' is not a permitted variant.

 

 

Bus Only Streets and Bus Gates

 

In London bus only streets must be enforced under a different act (London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003). Ensure your ticket has been issued under this act (check the top of the ticket) and click here to ensure it complies with the law. Brent were enforcing under the wrong act and issued over 21,000 tickets illegally.

 

Outside London they can be enforced under the same act as normal bus lanes. Section 144(5) of the Transport Act 2000 states:

 

(5)And an area of road is or forms part of a bus lane if the order provides that it may be used—

 

(a)only by buses (or a particular description of bus), or

(b)only by buses (or a particular description of bus) and some other class or classes of vehicular traffic.

 

A bus only street should have one of the sign combinations shown below. Below this are shown the details from the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions which govern their requirements, permitted variants etc (explanation of the regs here)

 

 

It is also essential that adequate advance warning is given for a bus only street to prevent motorists inadvertently entering it. Otherwise it is obviously too late once you pass one of the above signs. More information on this can be found on page 140 of the DfT guidance document Chapter 3 of the Traffic Signs Manual. What constitutes adequate advance warning is subjective so if you feel it was insufficient or obscured, take photos and appeal on this basis.

 

Bus Only

Roadmarkings also required as per below (bus or bus and cycle depending on sign)

 

 

No Entry Except buses

No roadmarkings required

 

No Motor Vehicles

No roadmarkings required

 

 

 

In accordance with Direction 8 from the TSRGD, the above signs should be on both sides of the road except where:

 

(i) traffic proceeding on another road on which it is permitted to proceed only in one direction turns into the relevant road; or

(ii) the carriageway of the relevant road is less than 5 metres wide and the sign is so placed that its centre is within 2 metres of the edge of the carriageway.

 

Examples of Non Compliant Bus Only Streets 

 

Missing sign (leeds)

Text for an appeals letter:

The signs delineating this bus gate do not conform with the TSRGD 2002. Sign 953 must be accompanied by sign 953.2 "only" as per direction 20. As my photos show this is not the case. Hence I trust the PCN will be cancelled

 

Wrong text (Bodiam Way Brent)

Text for an appeals letter:

The roadmarking delineating this bus only street does not conform with the TSRGD 2002. "Buses" only is a not a permitted variant of diagram 1048.3

 

CCTV Camera Requirements 

 

In England Outside London

These are enforced under the Transport Act 2000 and need to be approved devices. The Bus Lanes (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2005

 

In London

These are enforced under the London Local Authorities Act 1996 (amended 2000) There is no requirement for the specific camera to be approved. All that is required is that it is a "prescribed device" as per the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 which defines a prescribed device as "a camera designed or adapted to record the presence of a vehicle on an area of road which is a bus lane or route for use by buses only."

 

 

1 The TSRGD does not specify exactly where this sign should be located. However according to the guidance in Chapter 3  of the Traffic Signs Manual(page 130): "Where the speed limit is 20 mph or 30 mph, the sign should be sited 30m in advance of the lead-in taper formed by the road marking to diagram 1010, with a minimum clear visibility distance of 45m. Where the speed limit is 40 mph, the sign should be sited 45m in advance of the taper with a minimum clear visibility distance of 60m"

2 The 30m comes from the guidance in Chapter 5 of Traffic Signs Manual and refers to 1:10, so 30m for a 3m wide lane, 40m for a 4m wide lane etc.