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Penalty charge notices (bus lanes) 

Bus lanes

Bus lanes are intended to reduce journey times for buses along main routes particularly at peak times. A full bus can replace up to 70 vehicles on the road, as a result a bus lane gives the bus passengers priority over normal drivers.

Bus lanes are only installed on major corridor routes into and out from the city centre.

Who can use an active bus lane

During operational hours only the following vehicles are permitted to use bus lanes –

  • bicycles
  • any bus or vehicle with seats to carry ten people including the driver
  • liveried emergency service vehicles
  • solo two wheeled motorcycles - excludes those with a sidecar
  • any Hackney carriage or licensed private hire vehicle

Our system should recognise vehicles licensed in Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire, vehicles registered elsewhere may be issued with a penalty notice. In this situation taxi owners should appeal and present proof that the vehicle is licensed.

Other vehicles making use of bus lanes during operational times will be subject to a penalty charge.

Identifying a bus lane

Bus lanes are divided from the remaining carriageway by a solid thick white line and the words ‘Bus Lane’ are periodically marked on the road. The approach to a bus lane and after every junction is covered by appropriate signs and road markings as described in the Highway Code. Blue bus lane signs are also present alongside the bus lane.

Bus lane operational times

Bus lanes are active Monday to Saturday only. For traffic heading -

  • towards the city centre from 7am to 9.30am
  • away from the city centre from 4pm to 6.30pm

Signs displaying the times of operation are placed regularly along the bus lane route.

When you can use a bus lane

Any vehicle can use a bus lane outside of the operational hours.

You are also permitted to cross a bus lane where necessary provided you do so in the shortest possible distance. You must not use a bus lane to avoid traffic and reach your location.

In addition there are instances when you may have no other choice but to move into a bus lane for example to -

  • avoid an obstruction in the road, such as roadwork or a spillage
  • make way for an emergency services vehicle
  • avoid an accident

If you have to move into a bus lane, please do so only for as long as is required.


Bus lane enforcement ensures the free flow of traffic across the city and is mainly used in areas where there is a traffic congestion issue or a problem with bus lane abuse.

How bus lanes are enforced

Both the police and the council have responsibility for enforcing the correct use of bus lanes in Hull.

Since June 2015 we have installed eight automatic number plate recognition fixed cameras in a number of bus lanes across the city. If incorrect use of a bus lane is detected we will review the video of the incident to check for mitigating circumstances and assess if it is appropriate to issue a penalty charge notice.

These cameras are in addition to the enforcement work already carried out by the police. In the event that both the police and the council take action against you for the same vehicle for the same set of circumstances the council cease proceedings so the police can continue their enforcement. You should notify the council of police action by completing the form sent to you with your penalty charge notice.

The legal authority to control bus lanes within Hull is contained within a Traffic Regulation Order - a copy of which is available below.

PDF Icon Bus lanes TRO (size: 19.6 Kb)
(link opens in new window)

Find out more about bus lane penalty charge notices

Contact us

PO Box 474

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