We are committed to improving bus passenger journey times and making our services more reliable. The aim is to increase the use of public transport and reduce congestion and traffic pollution. The misuse of bus lanes affects journey times and can cause frustration to motorists who follow the regulations.

How do I recognise a bus lane?

Bus lanes are identified by road markings and road signs. The bus lane will have road markings and the words ‘Bus Lane’, and will be separated from the lane used by normal traffic by a solid white line. Signs will also be displayed showing a white bus on a blue background. Where pedal cycles and taxis are allowed these will also be shown on the road markings and blue signs.

Who can use a bus lane?

Only buses, cyclists, taxis and licensed private hire cars can use bus lanes. Motorcycles are not permitted to use the bus lanes in Southampton. Bus lane enforcement uses a digital camera system that records vehicles illegally making use of the city's bus lanes, with all recordings checked for mitigating circumstances, such as:

  • Preventing an accident from happening 
  • Being directed to do so by the police or a civil enforcement officer
  • When accessing or exiting a road is only possible from within the bus lane

If none of these mitigating circumstances apply, the registered keeper of the vehicle will then be issued with a penalty charge notice.

Please note: Bus lanes have the times of operation on the approach signage. If the sign does not show times then it operates 24 hours.

What is the penalty for using a bus lane?

The penalty for illegally using a bus lane is £60. This is reduced to £30 if you pay within 14 days. Failure to pay or challenge the issue of a penalty charge notice within 28 days of it being served may result in the charge increasing to £90.

The money will be used to pay for the installation, upkeep and running of the system. Any surplus income from fines will be reinvested in Local Transport Strategy schemes to improve Southampton’s transport network.

How to pay a penalty charge notice (PCN)

You can pay your penalty online:

Pay your penalty charge notice

You can make a telephone payment using your credit or debit card. Please have your card, vehicle details and PCN number ready.

Telephone: 023 8083 3008

You can also pay by post. Please allow two working days for first class post and five working days for second class. Make sure you quote the PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) with payment.

Address: Parking Services, PO Box 1098, Southampton SO14 7WE