Gina Dickson, a young mother in Yorkshire, has thrown out her abusive husband but goes to a loan-shark to pay off her debts.
But Gina can't find work, and there's no one to look after the children. She meets Carol, a prostitute who teaches Gina how to "work The Lane", and introduces her to the world of ponces, punters, and police. Gina also meets Carol's friends:
Rose, an older hooker who rules the lane, and Tracey, a young runaway who's hooked on drugs and her pimp. When, despite Carol's warnings,
Gina discovers the worst that can happen to a woman who works the lane, Carol and her friends decide to pack it in, go legit, and form a business that will get back at the loan shark