Bus lane enforcement

Service information

Drivers using bus lanes in Blackburn and Darwen may be liable for a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Bus lane enforcement is due to commence in October 2016, in 18 locations across the borough, and is designed to improve journey times for motorists, cyclists and public transport users. All lanes will be clearly signed both on the highway (white lettering) and on posts at the entrances to the lanes.

It is expected that bus lane enforcement will actively discourage motorists from wilfully ignoring other traffic regulations as well as the bus lane restriction. Parking and bus lane contraventions put motorists and pedestrians at risk and it is hoped that bus lane enforcement will improve the management of the highway network.

Bus lanes were previously enforced by the police and if convicted, the motorist’s details would be placed on a criminal data base. Due to recent changes in legislation, the Government are encouraging local authorities to take over these powers, under civil law with no criminal conviction (Transport Act 2000). This type of enforcement is already in place in other authorities around the country and has proved to be successful in shortening journey times, increasing the use of public transport and supporting sustainable travel plans.

The cameras use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to identify unauthorised vehicles that enter bus lanes and results in the driver receiving a £60 PCN by post will remain payable by the vehicle owner, however the charge will be reduced to £30 if it is paid within 21 days of service.

Bus lane enforcement follows the same process as parking charges and a formal representation can be made to the Council upon receipt of the notice to owner. For details regarding this process please visit www.patrol-uk.info.

Benefits of bus lanes

The benefits of bus lanes and bus gates are that they:

  • Encourage use of public transport - This supports an ongoing commitment by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to increase the use of public transport and reduce traffic pollution,
  • Increase bus service reliability,
  • Improve bus passenger journey times,
  • Improve travel times for commuters and other road users.
  • Provide a safer lanes for cyclists.

Times of operation

If there are no times stated on the signs, the bus lane is in operation 24 hours a day. Road signs and markings will clearly indicate the start and end of bus lanes and highlight the hours of operation.

Parking in bus lanes

Parking is not allowed even with a blue badge (disabled) when the bus lanes are in operation. You will however be permitted to cross the bus lane to park in a parking facility (driveway, car park etc) adjacent to the bus lane.

Driving in bus lanes and penalty charges

If you drive in a bus lane and are caught on camera doing so you can expect to receive a Penalty Charge Notice/Notice to Owner addressed to the registered owner/hirer of the vehicle concerned. It will contain details of the alleged contravention, details of the vehicle and photographs that in the Authority's opinion establish the contravention. The document will also provide details of how to pay or challenge the penalty charge notice if you feel that it has been issued unfairly.  Further information on both these options will be made available on this website closer to the implementation date.

Bus lane authorisation

Bus Lane Orders are made using powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The definition of a bus lane is in section 144 of the Transport Act 2000 for local authorities outside London. Bus gates are created under the same powers.

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