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Letter: Bus Lane Fines Are Not Used to Raise SCC Income

Published on: 22 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 22 Feb, 2024

The bus lane in Onslow Street

From: An SCC spokesperson

In response to: Is SCC Using Minor Bus Lane Infringements to Raise Income?

The bus lane in Onslow Street, Guildford operates 24/7 so should not be used by unauthorised vehicles (ie those that are not a bus, minibus, or licenced Hackney Carriage taxi) at any time.

In 2023 a bus lane enforcement camera began operating in Onslow Street, issuing warning letters and Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to unauthorised vehicles driving in the bus lane. Prior to this, in 2022, bus lane enforcement camera signs were put up. The PCNs (fines) are intended to be a deterrent against driving in the bus lane and not a means of raising income.

Driving in the bus lane includes having at least two wheels over the solid white line denoting the edge of the lane. However, it is permitted to turn across the lane to access side roads or private property/driveways, and to drive in the bus lane in the event of an ‘emergency’ e.g. to avoid a broken down car or move out of the way of an emergency vehicle.

Representations and appeals can be made against any PCNs that are issued for driving in the bus lane and these will be considered by the council or Traffic Penalty Tribunal on a case-by-case basis to ensure fair and consistent enforcement of the restrictions in place.

This bus lane was first introduced in around 2006 and has had the same layout since then. In 2020/21, highway improvements were carried out along Woodbridge Road and Onslow Street including:

  • Resurfacing the road
  • New pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities
  • An extension of the bus lane under the railway bridge by the Surrey cricket ground
  • Improved bus stop facilities
  • Changes to parking and bus lane restrictions including prohibiting HGV usage and extending the operating hours to 24/7. At this time bus lane signs were improved including the addition of bus lane camera enforcement warning signs at regular intervals along Woodbridge Road and Onslow Street.

A report detailing the changes at the time and the reasons for them is linked here: Agenda for Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Growth Decisions on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, 4.30 pm – Surrey County Council (

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Responses to Letter: Bus Lane Fines Are Not Used to Raise SCC Income

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    February 22, 2024 at 2:47 pm

    “The PCNs (fines) are intended to be a deterrent against driving in the bus lane and not a means of raising income.”

    Intention is not a statement of fact.

    The fact is that they are an income stream (after costs?).

    Why else would the districts/borough Local Committees, before disbanded by SCC have spent time, after approving bus lanes and 24 hour validity, debating how the income was to be divided between county and districts?

  2. John Lomas Reply

    February 22, 2024 at 3:04 pm

    “”eg to avoid a broken down car or move out of the way of an emergency vehicle.”

    As a retired driving instructor (ADI) I have known people fined for moving into a bus lane for a “blues and twos” vehicle; so my advice is let the emergency services use the bus lane it is much more free of traffic anyway, being so sparsely used.

    Also, I would recommend passing any broken down vehicle on the other side, if physically possible.

    And how many buses actually use the bus lane?

    The photo specifically shows that buses that turn right onto Friary Bridge (ie the gyratory) don’t use it. A trip along Onslow Road on Streetview (both sides) didn’t reveal even a single bus. What is the frequency of whatever routes are supposed to use it?

  3. John Lomas Reply

    February 23, 2024 at 10:58 am

    A driving examiner would FAIL a candidate for following the SCC spokesperson’s advice.


    Unauthorised vehicles entering a bus lane during its hours of operation will not only instantly fail a driving test, but could incur a fine due to cameras being located at certain bus lanes. Take note of signs that warn you in advance of bus lanes ahead.

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