Bus Lane appeals and payments

Bus Lanes keep our county moving, giving priority to buses so they can avoid traffic congestion. This makes bus travel more attractive, improves reliability and reduces journey times. It also encourages people to make cycle journeys along the routes with the lanes being relatively safe with lighter traffic.

We are committed to improving public transport across the county, reducing the number of cars on our road network and making the county’s air cleaner as a result.

Enforcement starts on Monday 1 February 2021 but during the first week warning notices will be issued to those who flout the rules to act as a warning.

The authority will use number-plate recognition cameras to discourage illicit use of the lanes, with fines being issued to offenders through the post.

Bus lanes

Bus priority measures include traffic lanes or sections of the street solely for use by buses or taxis and certain specifically exempt vehicles, which other vehicles are not permitted to use.

These may be in the form of:

  • bus lanes
  • bus gates
  • bus only streets

Collectively these are called 'bus lanes'.

Hours of operation may be at all times or at specified hours and/or days as shown on road signs. If no times are given, the bus lane is operational 24 hours a day.

Where is enforcement implemented?

  • Drapery, Northampton town centre (bus only street) – hours of operation 24/7
  • Weedon Road / St James’ Road, Northampton (bus lane) – hours of operation 24/7
  • Market Street, Wellingborough town centre (bus gate) - hours of operation 9am to 4.30pm Monday - Saturday

Cost

A bus lane contravention penalty charge is £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Failure to pay within 28 days of the date of service of the PCN (deemed to be two working days after posting), may lead to further increases in the PCN amount, debt registration and ultimately enforcement.

How to pay

  • If you want to challenge a PCN, do not pay it. If you do, we will close the case and that will be the end of it
  • If you are paying more than one penalty charge please ensure that you enter each PCN number individually
  • We do not accept payment by instalments, cash or by Visa Electron or American Express. Please see below for more information relating to our policy on instalment plans and the reasons why we do not accept these.

Online

Pay by credit or debit card using our online payments system:

Pay your fine online

Telephone

Call our 24-hour automated line on 0345 6800153 (option 5).

Pay by post

  • Please ensure that you quote the PCN number on the back of the cheque or postal order
  • Allow 2 working days for 1st class post and 5 working days for 2nd class post
  • If you would like a receipt, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope

To pay by cheque or postal order, please make payable to West Northamptonshire  Council and post to the following address:  

Parking Services
One Angel Square
Angel Street     
Northampton
NN1 1ED

How to appeal

Online

Click on the link below to make representations if you have received a PCN through the post. You can also view evidence relating to your PCN. You must challenge each case individually by inputting each unique PCN number.

If you have received an Order for Recovery of unpaid penalty charge (Form PE2) then you can no longer appeal to the local authority. You must complete the Statutory Declaration (Form PE3) and return it directly to the Traffic Enforcement Centre.

Appeal a bus lane fine

Write to us

Please provide as much information as you can to support your reasons why the PCN should be cancelled.

Whilst the Council endeavour to respond to all bus lane correspondence received within 21 days, this is not always possible.

If your representations were made within 14 days of the Date of Service/Notice on the PCN then we will give you a further 14 days from the date of our response letter to pay the reduced charge of £30

Please send your appeal to:

Parking Services
One Angel Square
Angel Street
Northampton
NN1 1ED

Further information

​There are specific grounds on which a representation can be made and details are given on the PCN. Our Enforcement Protocol gives further details of representations and also mitigating circumstances.

When your representation is received, an experienced Officer who is employed by the council will consider it. They will decide if there are grounds to cancel the PCN. You will be notified in writing of the decision. There is no statutory timeframe for a response but our aim is to respond within 21 days, however this may not always be possible.

If your representation is rejected we will advise you on how to appeal to an Adjudicator.

If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle and have made a formal representation, which has been rejected by the council, you have the right to appeal to an Adjudicator within 28 days of service of the Notice of Rejection.

An Adjudicator is an experienced lawyer and is independent of the council. The decision of the Adjudicator is final and both parties (you and the council) must adhere to the decision made.

You can find out more about a Parking Adjudicator by visiting the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website.

The council is also a member of the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee. The Joint Committee publishes an Annual Statement of Accounts which is subject to External Audit.

If you decide to appeal to the adjudication service, the full amount is payable if your case is dismissed.