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Bristol MetroBus Only PCN, 34J Stoke Lane MetroBus Bristol
Parking Delphini...
post Fri, 28 Sep 2018 - 22:04
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I was in Bristol over the bank holiday and travelling along the M32 when my sat nav told me to take the next exit, I completed my overtake of (something large, I can't really remember now!) and moved back into the left lane, saw the slip coming up and took it.

As soon as I pulled up it something didn't feel right as the speed limit dropped to 30 and it narrowed. I realised I'd turned off too soon, but as I came over the bridge just before the roundabout there was a blue bus-only sign saying local buses only and bus lane cameras. As I now had to proceed forwards (or reverse back over a bridge and onto a motorway!) I did a 180 at the roundabout and returned back onto the M32.

I've now received a PCN, it was a hire car so it isn't out of time, although to add insult to injury Hertz have billed me £42 for the pleasure of sending my details to Bristol Council. Doing a bit of research, I've found the following two news articles, one of which includes a drive through of the route I took.

I did not see either of two the 'local bus only' signs apparently located before the turn off, but this is most likely as I was overtaking something and physically could not see them. There is nothing at the actual turn off to highlight or sign it is bus-only.

PCN
BBC article
Bristol Post drive through
GoogleMaps location

How should I go about appealing this?

This post has been edited by Parking Delphinium: Fri, 28 Sep 2018 - 22:05
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post Fri, 28 Sep 2018 - 22:04
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cp8759
post Sat, 29 Sep 2018 - 19:04
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Having driven past this recently, the signs are clearly inadequate. The regulatory signs are placed in a position where you have no choice but to contravene them. There are no regulatory signs at the motorway junction itself (advance warning signs do not, on their own, create a restriction) so once you've taken the slip road, although you have not contravened anything, you have no choice but to contravene the signs you find at the roundabout.

Furthermore, Bristol PCNs have an 0870 number for payments, so ground 4 here applies: http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...p;#entry1404571

This post has been edited by cp8759: Sat, 29 Sep 2018 - 19:05


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Parking Delphini...
post Thu, 11 Oct 2018 - 21:01
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So, the following is what I plan to write in the appeal, any advice greatly received!

Dear Sir/Madam,

I drove in the restricted bus-only lane. However I did so through no lack of attention or negligence on my part but because I did not see any signs indicating the restriction before I was committed to driving on this route.

I did not see any signs, because none was visible in advance of the restriction; I was overtaking a larger vehicle on the M32 when my sat nav informed me that I needed the next exit, I completed my overtake and moved back into the left lane, saw the slip coming up and took it, concentrating on the road and not realising it was actually the next exit my sat nav was referring to.

I am not local to Bristol, I have not driven along the M32 before, or even heard of MetroBus so I had never had the opportunity to see the signs previously, and there are no signs located at the entry to the slip road.

Once I had left the motorway and crossed the bridge, only then were there blue bus-only signs at which point I had no option but to contravene them. I minimised this contravention by leaving the bus lane as quickly as possibly after being forced into it, by taking the exit off the roundabout which took me back onto the M32. This gave me no benefit whatsoever as I was now back on the M32 but going back towards Bristol.

The signs are clearly inadequate, as highlighted by the recent FOI request that 9,458 motorists have taken this route between 28 May and 26 August 2018.

I therefore request you cancel this PCN.

This post has been edited by Parking Delphinium: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 - 21:44
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cp8759
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 22:41
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There are plenty of advance warning signs, if you really didn't see any of them I would question your fitness to drive. The issue here is rather that advance warning signs are just that, they are warning signs, they do not create a restriction. You need to focus on the fact that there are no regulatory signs at the point where the slip road splits off from the main carriageway.

The regulatory signs the council rely on are placed in such a manner that you have no choice but to contravene them as the only alternatives are to stop (thus obstructing the highway) or mount the kerb to complete a u-turn, thus committing an entirely separate offence of driving on land other than a road. It has long since held that if a regulatory sign is placed in such a position that a motorist cannot take any other route, it is not an offence to contravene those signs.

You should also mention the 0870 charge issue, with bus lane PCNs you only get one shot at the council as the next step is an appeal to the tribunal, so mention it now.

Post a new draft based on the above.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 22:42


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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