Bus services are particularly susceptible to the effects of traffic congestion and any delays increase operating costs and lead to higher fares. Bus lanes and bus gates quicken journey times, increase reliability and encourage the use of sustainable transport.

Bus Lanes

Rule 141 of the Highway Code states that: ‘Bus lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs that indicate which (if any) other vehicles are permitted to use the bus lane. Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation.’ In Cardiff all bus lanes operate 24 hours a day, every day.


Vehicles that can use bus lanes in Cardiff

  • Buses
  • Licenced Hackney Carriages
  • Licenced vehicles for private hire
  • Motorcycles (without side cars)
  • Pedal Cycles
  • Emergency service vehicles

Bus Gates

A bus gate is a length of street that effectively creates a shortcut for buses that reduces travelling time for passengers by removing through traffic. On some occasions other vehicles may also be permitted to use a bus gate and these will always be shown on the regulatory signage. You should not drive in a bus gate during its period of operation unless you are authorised to do so.

Top tips to avoid a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)

We issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for a failure to comply with bus lane and bus gate restrictions. 


  • Make sure you are familiar with all signage relating to bus lanes and bus gates like the examples below:
    (Bus Lanes) 
    Bus Lanes sign

    (Bus Gates)
    Bus gate sign

  • Bus lanes are also bounded by a solid white line which you should not cross unless permitted to do so. 
  • Be patient. If traffic is busy in the unrestricted lanes then this does not mean you can use bus lanes or bus gates illegally.
  • Many people believe that there is a 20 meter grace distance for an unauthorised vehicle to travel within a bus lane but the ’20 meter rule’ has no basis in law.