Across the UK

Research last year revealed that UK councils had raked in over £35 million from bus lane fines alone. Here at Northgate we wanted to delve a little deeper and uncover just how many fines individual councils are handing out, how many appeals are made and the percentage rate of appeals won.


We made Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to over 300 councils across the UK, asking for information on how many bus lane fines they had given out between June 2017 – December 2018, the total income from the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), how many fines were contested and how many were revoked.

The councils featured in our dataset successfully provided some or all of the requested data. The councils not featured either have not yet responded to our FOI, or are not able to provide the information due to the following reasons; they do not have bus lanes, they do not hold the information requested, or they were unable to provide the data in the format requested within the allocated man hours for an FOI request.

Which council is making the most?

Manchester City Council came out on top, with our analysis showing they take on average £1,037,764 per month in bus lane fines, nearly four times more than the next top earning council, Glasgow, who earn £269,812 on average.

Coventry City Council came third, taking £173,216, with Nottingham City Council and Reading Borough Council coming in fourth and fifth respectively, both receiving fine payments that totalled just shy of £160,000 per month.

CouncilFines Paid (£)
Manchester City Council£1,037,764
Glasgow City Council£269,812
Coventry City Council£173,216
Nottingham City Council£159,643
Reading Borough Council£158,197

As well as average monthly earnings, our analysis also revealed each council’s highest earning month, during the 19-month period.

Manchester City Council raked in a massive £2,647,666 during January 2018, the most out of all the councils featured. City of Wolverhampton Council came second, earning £235,679 in July 2017 and Lancashire County Council third, with fines totalling £166,830 in January 2018.

Explore below

For a geographic comparison, view the available datasets from each council below

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No. of cases{{city.fines}}
Amount paid{{city.amount}}
Appeals Made{{city.appeals}}
Appeals Successful{{city.successful}}
Map of the UK

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No. of cases{{city.fines}}
Amount paid{{city.amount}}
Appeals Made{{city.appeals}}
Appeals Successful{{city.successful}}
Map of the UK

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No. of cases{{city.fines}}
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Appeals Successful{{city.successful}}

*Data not provided by councils

Where should you appeal?

Our analysis revealed drivers fined in Sandwell are most likely to see their fines revoked upon appeal, with an 86% success rate.

Whilst Doncaster Council could only provide one month of data, their first with operating bus lanes, their results potentially show a loophole in their bus lane restrictions, as 80% of all appealed PCNs were withdrawn.

Of an average 3,852 fines handed out per month in Wolverhampton, only eight appeals were made, but interestingly six were rescinded upon review.

% Appeal success – most likely

CouncilAppeals MadeSuccessful AppealsAppeal Success %
Sandwell Council House20117386%
Doncaster Council65852680%
City of Wolverhampton Council8674%
Oxfordshire County Council1016059%
Sheffield City Council86849157%

On the other hand, drivers who receive a bus lane fine from Norwich City Council may have to accept their fate, with only a 10% chance of having their appeal upheld. Coventry City Council are also unlikely to revoke PCNs with only two successful appeals for every 20 made.

Both Nottinghamshire County Council and Bromley and Bexley Council rejected 85% of the appeals made, whilst Tameside Metropolitan Borough denied 84%.

% Appeal success – least likely

CouncilAppeals MadeSuccessful AppealsAppeal Success %
Norwich City Council4.50.510%
Coventry City Council20212%
Nottinghamshire County Council2083115%
London Boroughs of Bromley & Bexley3114815%
Tameside Metropolitan Borough861416%

Explore the full data set below

City/BoroughNo. of casesAmount paidAppeals MadeAppeals SuccessfulAppeal success rate
Leicester City Council4185N/AN/AN/AN/A
Staffordshire County Council739N/AN/AN/AN/A
Croydon Council229N/A0.50.122
Manchester City Council36214£1,037,7641776637
Glasgow City Council8455£269,812152250033
Coventry City Council5712£173,21620212
Nottingham City Council4846£159,643N/A156N/A
Reading Borough Council8021£158,197113023521
Cambridgeshire County CouncilN/A£129,4962156329
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council5149£125,98037513436
Lancashire County Council5714£123,77024418
City of Wolverhampton Council3852£113,7148674
London Boroughs of Bromley & Bexley1592£97,5593114815
London Boroughs Barking & Dagenham1898£93,919N/A4N/A
Swindon Borough Council2738£80,4028452
Doncaster Council3539£75,39865852680
Aberdeen City Council2593£74,513406N/AN/A
Sheffield City Council2829£71,64186849157
Leeds City Council3647£67,64036911331
Warrington Borough CouncilN/A£63,1671124540
London Borough of Havering653£61,348N/AN/AN/A
Oxfordshire County Council2267£59,3131016059
Sandwell Council House1807£51,03820117386
Portsmouth City Council1757£50,3621184639
Nottinghamshire County Council1526£45,2142083115
Southampton City CouncilN/A£39,43132616952
Salford City Council1331£38,5861205848
Norwich City Council877£25,3804.50.510
South Tyneside Council978£24,4143617421
Brighton and Hove City Council822£22,627N/AN/AN/A
Tameside Metropolitan Borough478£21,467861416
South Gloucestershire Council978£19,507391640
Luton CouncilN/A£9,0551424632
London Borough of EnfieldN/A£4,728N/AN/AN/A
Middlesbrough CouncilN/A£4,1940.30.120