Bus Lane Enforcement
Bus Lane Enforcement
We've all experienced the effects of traffic congestion on our roads, especially during peak hours in the City. So that buses can get ahead of traffic queues, bus lanes are provided on many routes.
In order to make sure that bus lanes are as effective as possible in keeping buses running on time, from Spring 2013 Birmingham City Council will be operating bus lane enforcement in the City Centre. We are enforcing bus lanes and bus only streets in the main bus corridors along Lower Bull Street, Moor Street Queensway, Priory Queensway and St Martins Queensway.
This means that if a vehicle is captured by CCTV using a bus lane or bus only street during restricted hours a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) may be issued.
In the future we will extend this across the city, in areas where there is a traffic congestion issue or a problem with bus lane abuse.
Why introduce bus lane enforcement?
There are a number of potential benefits to be gained by ensuring effective bus lane enforcement:
- Bus lane enforcement has been operating successfully in London for a number of years. Studies have shown that the number of prohibited vehicles using bus lanes has reduced significantly as a result of enforcement, which has resulted in improved bus reliability, increased road safety and more use of bus lanes by pedal cyclists;
- Effective and efficient bus lane enforcement will allow the Council and its partners to achieve easier and more consistent journey times for buses through congested areas by allowing the free flow of bus lane traffic; and
- By improving the public transport network we will encourage commuters to choose more environmentally friendly forms of travel and thereby reduce CO2 emissions.
What does a bus lane look like?
In Birmingham the operational times will depend on where the bus lane is. These times will be clearly signed.
Along the bus lane there may be sections of broken white lines. These signify an area where it is permitted for vehicles to cross the bus lane, for example, if you need to turn left.
There are signs indicating where a bus lane starts and where it ends and each sign will tell you the operational hours for the lane. If no times are stated, this means that the bus lane is operational 24 hours.
What is a bus only street?
A bus only street is just that. It is a street which only buses are permitted to use. Bus only streets are clearly marked at the entrance to the street with signs showing permitted vehicles and times of operation if applicable.
What vehicles are allowed to use bus lanes and bus only streets?
Permitted vehicles can vary from bus lane to bus lane, so you should check the signs at the start of the lane or bus only street before entering.
In the City Centre where bus lane enforcement is being undertaken by the City Council, only buses, coaches and pedal cycles are permitted to be in all bus lanes and bus only streets. Hackney carriages and motorcycles are permitted in some areas only.
In other parts of the City, bus lanes may be used by buses, coaches, pedal cycles, motor cycles and hackney carriages. Private Hire Vehicles are not permitted to use any bus lanes in Birmingham.
How does enforcement happen?
Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras will record vehicles driving or parking in bus lanes. Cameras are either mounted on poles on the street or operated from a Birmingham City Council marked CCTV enforcement vehicle.
These cameras record vehicles using the bus lanes during restricted hours, and take a close up image of the vehicle including the registration mark. The camera also tracks the vehicle driving, parking or stopping in the bus lane to provide evidence that a contravention of the restrictions has taken place.
The recordings will be checked by a second enforcement officer, to ensure that an contravention has occurred and that there are no mitigating circumstances, which may have led to the vehicle being in the bus lane.
Once it is confirmed that an contravention has occurred, the registered owner/hirer of the vehicle will then receive a PCN by first class post from Birmingham City Council.
It is the responsibility of each driver to ensure they comply with all traffic signs and regulations; this includes obeying signs and regulations even if a Sat-Nav suggests entering the bus lane or bus only street. Referring to Sat-Navs as a reason for contravening the restrictions will not be accepted.
How much is the fine?
The amount for a Bus Lane PCN is £60, although if payment is made within fourteen days of the date of service (refer to PCN for specific date) the charge will be reduced by 50% to £30.
Can I appeal the fine?
Yes, you can appeal against the fine. Details of how to do this will be included on the PCN.