Bus lane fines, penalty charge notices

News broke this week that revealed the sheer number and rate of increase in motorist fines for misuse of bus lanes. We have looked at our own information to see if a similar trend is emerging when it comes to fleet drivers.

The RAC submitted a freedom of information request to London councils and other city councils regarding the number of bus lane fines issued. The results highlighted the fact that between 2015 and 2017 the number of penalty charge notices for bus lane misuse increased from 1,078,816 to 1,129,613 – a 5% increase.

More detailed examination of these figures showed a contrasting picture where fines outside London increased by 9% over the three years (741,777 to 810,642) whilst inside London there was a 5% reduction (337,039 to 318,971) in penalties issued.

What does the picture look like for Fleets and Fleet Drivers?

Like for like comparisons are difficult to arrive at due to the growth in the number of vehicles that All Fleet are processing fines for over the same period. However, between 2015 and 2017 the number of bus lane fines that All Fleet processed increased from 10,778 to 32,133. In 2017 this represented 10% of all fines processed.

The RAC research found that the top 5 councils outside of London, when it came to issuing bus lane fines were Manchester City Council, Glasgow City Council, City of Cardiff Council, Coventry City Council and Nottingham City Council. All Fleet’s experience was not to dissimilar with the top five being Manchester City Council, Reading Borough Council, Glasgow City Council, City of Cardiff Council and Newcastle City Council.

Michelle Horrobin, Product Manager for Fleet Fine Online, All Fleet’s digital fine processing solution, commented:

“The growth in bus lane fines may surprise some and is a concern both generally and for fleets. We believe that clearer signage and perhaps ‘smart bus lanes’ would help educate drivers to know when they are permitted to use them, certainly in areas where large volumes of fines are issued”.