Thousands issued fines for this simple driving mistake which is earning councils millions

Drivers can be hit with the penalties for driving into or stopping their car inside a bus lane as this is against the Highway Code. But many councils are now using CCTV cameras to quickly identify motorists who may have accidentally crossed the line. 

Drivers caught breaking the rule will be issued a £65 charge but this can be reduced to £30 if the fee is paid within two weeks. 

Analysis from Compare the Market has found some councils have generated over £8million in income from the simple charges as hundreds of thousands were caught out across the UK. 

London has the highest number of bus lane infringement with millions generated for local authorities across the capital. 

Drivers in Lambeth were issued over 41,500 fines alone over the past year which has boosted income by £2.7million. 

Motorists in Ealing were also caught out with 33,713 penalty chargers issued and £1.8milion in charges paid out to drivers. 

Charges in the capital are also higher than anywhere else in the UK with those caught breaking the law liable for a £160 fine. 

But similar to other parts of the UK, this charge can be reduced by 50 percent if the fee is paid within 14 days meaning drivers could get away with an £80 penalty. 

Outside of the capital, Manchester was also a top offender with over 388,000 fines issued as £8.3million worth of income was generated.

Glasgow and Coventry council issued over 80,000 penalties to drivers as each city generated over £2.5million. 

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Other high offending regions included Reading, Nottingham, Birmingham and Cardiff where over 70,000 penalties were issued. 

Research by has revealed that 48 percent of drivers have unknowingly driven in a bus lane at some point. 

But they revealed motorists can put their vehicle in a bus lane under very specific circumstances.

Motorists will avoid penalties for using the lane if there is a blockage or obstruction in the road which forces them into the lane. 

Drivers can also get away with it if they need to move out of the way for an emergency vehicle or to avoid a car crash. 

The Highway Code states: “Bus lanes are shown by road markings and signs that indicate which (if any) other vehicles are permitted to use the bus lane. 

“Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation.”

Experts at the RAC say drivers can appeal a bus lane violation if they believe the fine has been wrongly issued. 

This could be because the driver feels the offence did not take place or the charge is higher than it should be. 

Drivers could also argue a charge if a Fixed Penalty Notice has already been issued or you are not the registered owner. 

However, the RAC warns that failing to pay the notice could result in local authorities taking legal action which could see penalties rise. 

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