Enforcement notice for a bus lane PCN
The enforcement notice for a bus lane penalty charge notice
If a penalty charge for an alleged bus lane contravention is not paid within 28 days from the date of the penalty charge notice, or 14 days after the local authority rejects an informal challenge (whichever is the later). the local authority may issue an Enforcement Notice to the person appearing to them to be the owner of the vehicle. By the time you receive this notice you will have lost your right to pay at the reduced rate.
The Enforcement Notice will usually be served by post.
Your next steps:
You have 28 days, beginning with the date of service of that notice, to either:
- pay the penalty charge at the full rate; or
- Make formal representations to the local authority explaining why you think you should not have to pay the penalty. See making representations below.
The grounds on which you may make formal representations are set out below. These are the only grounds on which you may appeal against a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice. However you can also sight compassionate grounds to the local authority.
1. There was no breach of the bus lane order/ regulation
This is the ground upon which most representations are made. For example, the vehicle was not in a bus lane during its hours of operation/the restrictions were not properly signed or lined, the vehicle was exempt from the restrictions, the vehicle was making a permitted left turn, the penalty exceeded the amount applicable etc
2. I was not the owner at the material time
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
3. The person who was in control of the vehicle at the time was in control without my consent
For example, the vehicle was driven in the bus lane after being stolen or even a friend who didn’t have permission.
4. The police are taking action
Instead of the local authority imposing a civil penalty under their powers; the police are taking criminal action against the driver for the alleged breach. This ground applies if the driver of the vehicle has received a Fixed Penalty Notice or a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the police for the same breach. A local authority cannot pursue a Bus lane PCN if the police are taking action.
Even if one of these grounds does not apply, you may ask the local authority to consider other reasons for canceling the penalty, such as compassionate grounds or mitigation. However, the local authority is only legally bound to cancel the Enforcement Notice if they accept that one of the grounds above applies although they do have a duty to consider compassionate grounds as well.
When making representations you should:
• explain your reasons fully and carefully;
• send clear copies of any relevant documents, keeping the originals;
• Make sure the local authority RECEIVES your representations within 28 days. They may disregard representations received later. They may consider late representations, but do not have to.
The local authority will then consider your representations
The local authority must:
• consider representations received in time;
• decide whether to accept them or reject them;
• send to the person making the representations either
– a Notice of Acceptance, if it accepts them; or
– a Notice of Rejection and a Notice of Appeal form, if it does not accept them
if it has accepted the representations, cancel the Enforcement Notice
The Adjudicators have decided that a local authority should normally respond to representations within 3 months.