1. ITV Report

Birmingham Bus Lane ticket - are you due a refund?

The camera on Priory Queensway Photo: ITV News Central

Ben Cheney's court case victory raises a question mark over the validity of thousands of fines paid by other motorists caught by bus lane cameras in Birmingham city centre.

Ben was caught by a camera on the Priory Queensway (from Colmore Circus towards Old Square). The tribunal ruled he should not have to pay the fine because of inadequate signage. There is no automatic right to a refund, however anyone caught by this camera may have a claim.

It also criticised two other Birmingham bus lane cameras. They are:

  • St Martins Queensway (towards Moor Street Queensway)
  • Moor Street Queensway (U Turn)

What to do if you want to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice:

  • All representations against a Penalty Charge Notice must be submitted with 28 days.
  • All representations must be made in writing.
  • If you submit a challenge, even within 14 days, the discounted rate of 50% will no longer be available as the 'Notice to Owner' has already been issued and the appeal is against the full £60 charge.
  • Once the representation is submitted, you have to wait for a council response.
  • If your challenge gets rejected, you have the right to appeal to an independent adjudication body (Traffic Penalty Tribunal).
  • If your appeal is rejected, the amount payable will normally be the full £60.

If you receive a Penalty Charge Notice and accept it, you can pay via telephone, online, by post or in person.

Levels of bus lane Penalty Charges:

  • £60 - Penalty Charge
  • £30 - Penalty Charge (if paid within 14 days)
  • £90 - Penalty Charge (if paid after service of charge certificate)

Bus lane locations in Birmingham city centre:

  • Masshouse Lane
  • Moor Street
  • Moor Street Queensway (Moor Street to Carrs Lane)
  • Moor Street Queensway (Carrs Lane to Albert Street)
  • Moor Street Queensway (Albert Street to Priory Queensway)
  • Bull Street
  • Moor Street Queensway (East bound slip road)
  • Moor Street Queensway (South West bound slip road)
  • The Priory Queensway (Moor Street Queensway to Old Square)
  • The Priory Queensway (Priory Queensway West)
  • St Martins Queensway

How to recognise a bus lane or bus-only street:

  • The lane will be marked with a solid thick while line.
  • 'Bus lane' will be painted along the lane.
  • Signs at the start of the lane show when the bus lane is operational.
  • If a time is not given the bus lane is operational 24-hours-a-day.
  • If you need to cross a bus lane (in order to turn left), the sections of broken white lines show where you are allowed to cross.

Bus lane enforcement began in Birmingham in September 2013 and many of the routes have been subject to restrictions for a number of years.

Our position has always been that the bus lane signage is compliant and sufficiently visible to motorists, a view now confirmed by the independent adjudicator at a majority of the locations that they have considered.

It is pleasing the adjudicator also said he rejected entirely any suggestion that the council has decided to enforce what was an existing bus lane scheme with cameras as a source of additional revenue.

However, the adjudicator has taken the view that signage at three locations could be improved. We will look at their recommendations in detail with a view to making any necessary changes to road signing as part of the ongoing review of the bus lane enforcement scheme.

– Birmingham City Council

For more information visit Birmingham City Council's website.