On 16th June 2012 Bus Lane Enforcement came into effect in Leicester. This gives Leicester City Council powers to issue fines for people using bus lanes illegally.
What it means
Leicester City Council applied for and received powers to enforce this moving violation of the Traffic Regulation Orders, in addition to the Police who already hold these powers.
This means that people using bus lanes or bus gates during the hours of operation may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for a £60 fine from Leicester City Council.
How to contact us
You can make a payment, view the contravention or make a representation of the Penalty Charge Notice by seeing PCN Payments. If you have any questions or queries please contact the Bus Lane Enforcement line on 0116 233 5555 or see Contact Us details.
Who it affects
Any vehicle which makes illegal use of bus lanes is affected. The only exemptions are;
Where it is being introduced
Enforcement has initially be introduced on the Charles Street and Causeway Lane bus gates. It will be extended to bus lanes throughout the city over time and enforced with additional static cameras and a roving camera car. Please check the website for updates on when new routes go live for enforcement.
Why it’s needed
Bus Lanes and Bus Gates are introduced to give priority or access to buses only. This is in order to provide a better public transport system and more reliable services. Vehicles using the bus lanes to gain advantage over queuing traffic or ignoring bus gates to enter restricted areas as shortcuts are breaking the law and causing disruption to vehicles making legitimate use of the facilities.
When it’s happening
Bus Lane Enforcement came in on 16th June 2012 and Leicester City Council have the power to issue PCN’s (fines) from that date. Between the 16th June and 1st July 2012 warning notices were issued, so drivers ignoring the regulations were made aware of their contravention rather than receiving a financial penalty. From 2nd July 2012 PCN’s will be issued.
The cost of contravention
The registered owner/hirer of the vehicle will receive a PCN by first class post from Leicester City Council.
For a bus lane contravention the charge is £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days of the Date of Service. Take immediate action to either pay the penalty charge or make a representation (appeal). Failure to do so within 28 days of the Date of Service of the PCN may result in an increased charge of £90 and the Council may take steps to enforce payment of this sum.
A sample PCN can be downloaded for information.
Date of Service
The Date of Service of a PCN is two working days after the date of posting and the date of posting is the day the PCN was printed and issued. The back-office computer system automatically works out the Date of Service, taking into account weekends and Bank holidays.
How can I avoid a Penalty Charge Notice?
Pay attention to the road signs and markings.
Bus lane signs and markings will clearly indicate both the start and end of bus lanes and highlight the hours of operation. Parking and waiting/loading restrictions will be clearly signposted. If no hours of operation are displayed then the bus lane operates at all times.
More information on the process for introducing Bus Lane Enforcement is available further down this page.
For more information on how bus lane enforcement works and other information please refer to the FAQ's, orders and other downloadable files at the bottom of this page.
Introducing the System
The digital capture system in Leicester uses digital recordings rather than a video tape system. The providers of the system are; Tyco for the cameras, digital capture system & software; and Spur, which provides a gateway to the Driver & Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA) for registered keeper details and the financial management software.
Operations started on 16th June 2012 with publicity beginning 26th May 2012. Publicity was by way of advertisements locally in the press, by leaflets, on street promotion, website and on back of bus advertising. Operations were unable to start before the completion of a number of important steps:
Installation of cameras and link to computer equipment - a dedicated server, capture and review stations and camera control equipment.
Training – Officers completed externally provided training in the use of Public Space Surveillance, Operations and Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) training.
Review the quality of bus lane markings and signing and ensure they are subject to regular review.
Detailed plans of each enforced bus lane, including photographs of all bus lane signs, were prepared and submitted to the National Parking Adjudication Service (NPAS) (now Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT)). TPT is the independent body that reviews disputed parking and bus lane offences outside of London.
Produce a Code of Practice and Operational Instructions.
Obtain Department of Transport certification of an "approved device" agreeing the suitability of the equipment for enforcement purposes.
Only authorised officers can access the operations room. All visitors sign in and remain accompanied during their visit. Documentation and hard copies of filmed evidence are securely stored and data protection principles are fully applied.
The Department for Transport guidelines recommend a period of about two weeks warning of a change in the enforcement procedures, Warning Notices were from the 16th June 2012 – 1st July 2012. The system is now fully operational, as of 2nd July 2012, from which time PCNs are issued to drivers believed to be contravening the bus lane regulations.
Leicester City Council has introduced a limited number of unmanned cameras. Primarily designed for use in bus lanes and bus gates, captures all vehicles that travel in the lane using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology. Transmission of the evidence for processing is via a 3G wireless transceiver, in much the same way that a mobile phone sends picture messages. Because this is wireless technology, the location of the camera can be altered to cover any problem area.
In addition to roadside cameras at key locations, the City Council has secured the use of a car containing state of the art camera and recording equipment to monitor compliance to the traffic regulations. This means it will be possible to detect bus lane contraventions throughout the City.