Almost 65% of tribunal appealed bus lane fines in Gateshead successful

The bus lane on Askew Road, Gateshead.
-Credit: (Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)

Nearly 65% of bus lane fines issued by Gateshead Council were quashed when taken to tribunal since July 2023, news stats reveal.

From July 22, 2023, the local authority dished out a total of 22,260 fines to motorists for bus lane “contraventions”. Drivers are entitled to challenge their fines directly to the council, however, a Freedom of Information request was unable to obtain just how many were appealed directly to the local authority.

But of the 65 bus lane penalty charges taken to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT), an independent arbiter, from July 2023, 42 were successful on appeal.

Here is the breakdown of the appeals from July 2023:

  • Total number of bus lane fine appeals made to the TPT: 65

  • Number of appeals not contested by Gateshead Council: 19

  • Number of appeals lost by Gateshead Council: 23

Appeals are also successful for motorists if the local authority chooses not to contest. The number of appeals to the TPT which resulted in quashed fines stands at 64.6% from July 2023.

From 2020 until July 2023, Gateshead Council handed out 103,163 bus lane-related fines. Of those, 308 appeals were made to the TPT and 297 were either not contested or lost by the local authority, marking a 96% success rate for drivers.

A spokesperson for Gateshead Council said: “We are very careful in how we operate bus lanes and cameras, to ensure we are legally compliant and being fair to drivers. We are also under a statutory duty to consider each case on its merits.

“This has resulted in less than 0.3% of 22,260 Fixed Penalty Notice cases being taken to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. We are proud of our record of operating fair, transparent enforcement procedures.

“As the data shows, over 99.7% of Penalty Charges Notices (PCNs) in Gateshead do not go to the tribunal. Of the small percentage of PCN cases that were contested at the tribunal (46 cases in total) only half were successful.”

If and when a motorist disagrees with a fine issued by a council they must first appeal it with the council itself. If, for example, the £70 bus lane penalty is upheld by the local authority, drivers can then appeal their fine to the TPT.