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Westminster Bridge Bus Lane PCN, Timed Bus Lane infrigement Lambeth council
Mousieur Claude
post Tue, 22 Aug 2017 - 12:18
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Hi guys,

I just received a Bus Lane infringement PCN from Lambeth Council issued by a CCTV operator.

I was stunned by this PCN as i never enter a bus lane unless i see a sign indicating i am allowed to enter at certain times. I was angry and upset with myself.

However, i decided to go on google and check the area of the alledged contravention. Low and behold there are 2 signs just before the bus lane a short distance from the photos of my car in the bus lane.

It was timed bus lane, as are most bus lanes in Lambeth MON-FRI 7am - 10am 4pm- 7 pm, so firstly i realised i was on a winner, my car was clocked in the lane just after 3pm. I then checked the date, and low and behold it was a Sunday. So the bus lane was not operational due to the day and also the time.

Clearly the CCTV operator was having a bad day or just trying to hoover up much needed funds for the champagne bill at Lambeth Councils summer ball.

Either way it goes to emphasise the importance of always checking your PCN and not blindly just paying fines when they hit your doorstep. I think this is particularly important where a human CCTV operator has issued the PCN, like timed bus lanes.

My challenge has been submitted and i dont expect to be back here to resolve this one. However this is Lambeth Council so who knows.
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post Tue, 22 Aug 2017 - 12:18
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stamfordman
post Tue, 22 Aug 2017 - 12:28
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QUOTE (Mousieur Claude @ Tue, 22 Aug 2017 - 13:18) *
However, i decided to go on google and check the area of the alledged contravention. Low and behold there are 2 signs just before the bus lane a short distance from the photos of my car in the bus lane.



How do you know they haven't changed the signs since Google was there?

You'd better post the details.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 - 12:28
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Mousieur Claude
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:33
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Hi Stamfordman/fellow pepipooers

Turns out you were indeed correct, I was hasty with my initial assessment.

They are claiming this section of bus lane is now operational 7 days a week 7am - 7pm. The previous bus lane ending just before the junction where the Mon-Sat - 7am-10am 4pm -7pm defintitely still exists. I have had no reason to re-visit the area so have no idea about the current signage. I also believe this must be a very recent change to the operational times of the bus lane, very frustrating. I am annoyed that if the new restrictions had been amended on the signage i missed it. It was a busy day and the sign could easily have been obsucrred by a large vehicle as it was a very busy day as can be seen by the traffic jam on the road.

As can be seen on the photographic evidence I have my indicator on in 2 of the photos Lambeth has as evidence of my infrigement. The reason being i was turning left into Lower Marsh Rd just before the tunnel, perhaps helping my case??

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION OF INFRIGEMENT

Location


Here is the PCN FRONT PAGE



BACK PAGE



REJECTION FRONT



REJECTION BACK



PHOTO EVIDENCE 1



PHOTO EVIDENCE 2 (indicator flashing)



PHOTO EVIDENCE 3 (indicator flashing)



I have researched the area for similar cases and found a victorious case in early 2015 but in the opposite direction. I will post his winning case.

Interesting points i can see with my untrained eye which is the same as his winning case is the signage, there clearly isnt a sign 30m in advance of the buslane commencement, only signage is found is at the commencement taper of the bus lane.



Also Googlemaps provided an awesome example of how the signage could be easily blocked, the road is clealry jammed in theri photo evidence.



The pictures of the alleged contravention supplied on the PCN do not conform to ‘The Bus Lane Enforcement Camera Handbook’ “Every image of the offence shall show, in addition to the offending vehicle, in the order given: the date in months and years, the time in hours, minutes and seconds, the day of the week, the location and frame count from the beginning of the recording. The date shall be imprinted on the image or included in the violation record at the time the offence is recorded.”

I have deleted the time and frame rate from my pics, but there is no day of the week on any of the photos, so breaking this legisllation.


I would appreciate any help you can provide. Do i have a case or do i have to suck it up and pay the £65.

Many thanks in advance.



Here is the winning case I found on another site back in 2015 at Westminster bridge Rd although in the opposite direction.

QUOTE
Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to informally challenge the issuing of the above PCN on the following grounds:

The bus lane in question is non-compliant with the ‘The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002’ deeming the PCN unenforceable. The restrictions were not correctly signed and the road markings were incorrect.

1. The sign to diagram 958 is not located 30 metres in advance of the lane taper. As shown in the attached image, a sign is only located at the start of the taper. (Fig. 1 – taken 07/11/2014)
a. Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 3
15.9 Advance indication of a with-flow bus lane is provided by the sign to diagram 958. Where the speed limit is 20 mph or 30 mph, the sign should be sited 30m in advance of the lead-in taper formed by the road marking to diagram 1010, with a minimum clear visibility distance of 45 m.
2. The sign to diagram 958 is not clearly visible. As shown in the attached image, the sign has been rotated to a position near-parallel to the flow of traffic. Rendering it not possible to safely view from the usual left lane driving position. (Fig. 2 – taken 07/11/2014)
a. Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 3
15.9 Advance indication of a with-flow bus lane is provided by the sign to diagram 958. Where the speed limit is 20 mph or 30 mph, the sign should be sited 30m in advance of the lead-in taper formed by the road marking to diagram 1010, with a minimum clear visibility distance of 45 m.
3. The taper to indicate the start of the lane is not the required length or ratio of 1:10. (Fig. 3 – taken 07/11/2014)
a. Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 5
17.5 The bus lane is separated from the rest of the carriageway by a continuous line to diagram 1049. The width of the line will be 250 or 300mm depending upon site conditions, particularly the width of road available. The start of the lane is marked with a broken line to diagram 1010, the same width as the 1049 marking, and laid at a taper no sharper than 1:10. The lane should not start in such a position that the taper would extend across a side road junction.
4. The deflection arrows to diagram 1014 are not positioned correctly and are not the correct length. There are no deflection arrows upstream of the start of the taper as required. The position the arrows should be, would actually conflict with pedestrian crossing road signs. (Fig.4 – extract from Google Maps on 07/11/2014)
a. Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 5
17.7 Deflection arrows to diagram 1014 should be placed 15m and 30m upstream of the start of the taper. The arrows should be 4.5m long for speed limits up to 40mph, 6m for 50 or 60mph, and 9m for 70mph. Traffic should be deflected to the right when the bus lane occupies the near side lane and to the left when it occupies the off side lane.
b. Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 5
15.25 The Pedestrian Crossings Regulations permit markings to diagrams 1029 (see paras 22.26 to 22.28 and diagram 6 in Schedule 4 of the Pedestrian Crossings Regulations) and 1062 to be used at or near a crossing. The use of diagram 1062 is described in paras 21.7 to 21.16. No other marking may be used within the controlled area, except hatched and chevron markings in the circumstances described in para 15.26.
5. The pictures of the alleged contravention supplied on the PCN do not conform to ‘The Bus Lane Enforcement Camera Handbook’ published by the Home Office. Failure to show the correct information in the correct order must prove that the images are not admissible and render them void therefore there is no evidence that any contravention occurred. Therefore the instrument used does not appear to be an approved device.
a. Bus Lane Enforcement Camera Handbook clearly states as an ‘operational requirement’ in paragraph 5.1.2 that; “Every image of the offence shall show, in addition to the offending vehicle, in the order given: the date in months and years, the time in hours, minutes and seconds, the day of the week, the location and frame count from the beginning of the recording. The date shall be imprinted on the image or included in the violation record at the time the offence is recorded.”
6. Further, on inspection of the footage provided:
a. No buses were hindered in their progress – alleged contravention would be de minimis
b. There is no gain in position on another vehicle – alleged contravention would be de minimis
c. Any attempt to rectify my driving position would have necessitated a rapid lane change to the adjacent right hand lane before another rapid lane change to the left, in order to turn left at the traffic lights ahead to continue my journey. Actions which I would deem confusing and hazardous to other road users, particularly cyclists.

Should these representations be rejected then please treat this as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following documents:

a. A copy of the bus lane order or regulation giving effect to the Bus Lane.
b. A copy of the Safety Audit for this road layout.
c. A copy of the engineer’s scale diagrams showing the layout of this Bus Lane, the road markings and the signage (including warnings of camera enforcement).
d. Copies of any approvals of deviations of signage from The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.
e. Logs of maintenance visits verifying existence and condition of the signs.
f. Certification of type approval of the CCTV device.
g. Details of the number of times that the videotape used has been degaussed and reused.
h. A copy of the Camera Enforcement logbook recording the alleged contravention.
i. Copies of the still images showing all the required information in the correct order.
j. The number of PCNs issued by London Borough of Lambeth in respect of this location.
k. The number of PCNs issued by London Borough of Lambeth in respect of this location and cancelled by them following informal challenges.
l. The number of PCNs issued by London Borough of Lambeth in respect of this location and cancelled by them following formal appeal to them.
m. The number of PCNs issued by London Borough of Lambeth in respect of this location and cancelled following appeal to a PATAS adjudicator.
n. The number of PCNs issued by London Borough of Lambeth in respect of this location and not pursued by them for any other reason.
o. The average monthly penalty revenue raised by London Borough of Lambeth in respect of this location.

I ask that you acknowledge this challenge at your earliest convenience and respond with your reply.



Yours sincerely,
XXX


The informal appeal was rejected, to little surprise. Being quite adamant this bus lane was incorrect, I was quite willing to take this the full 12 rounds of appeals PTAS etc. For the formal appeal I sent the same letter, less the FOI requests. After several months of waiting the PCN was then cancelled!

I do hope the above is of some use to anyone in a similar situation!

Link 1: google maps (retrace your steps!)
Link 2: pepipoo.com/lofiversion/index.php/t81781.html
Link 3: consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?290879-Bus-Lane-PCN/page11
Link 4: davidmarq.com/uploaderv6_1/files/7/PATAS.PDF
Link 5: forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=92678 &pid=992720&mode=threaded &start=#entry992720
Link 6: londonbikers.com/forums/840159/Bus-Lane-Fine,-but-I-think-I-can-get-away-with-it?PageIndex=3


TL;DR

Drove in a bus lane as road markings and signage were incorrect. Informal appeal failed, formal appeal successful. £130 saved!


This post has been edited by Mousieur Claude: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:39
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Mousieur Claude
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:45
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Anyway am i able to change the title of this thread?

This post has been edited by Mousieur Claude: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:06
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stamfordman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:02
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Try hitting REPORT and asking a mod to change the thread title.

Have you got the video. I doubt it will show the start of the lane though. For me a possible point is if a previous stretch had different times and if indeed a sign was then obscured you could think it was the same. However, you should avoid the lane if you don't know for sure...

I don't think the handbook you mention is current.

The pics look bang to rights.
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Mousieur Claude
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:12
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I've submitted an FOI request to TFL to discover the current status of the bus lane and for the planning docs and commencement dates of the altered bus lane operating times. Hopefully they respond quickly.

There is what looks like a video but it wouldn't play, I will try again using a different computer.

as said I never go in bus lanes when I havnt seen a sign so its a really odd one for me. When in London you just don't go in bus lanes, jump lights or enter yellow box junctions. tut
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stamfordman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:22
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If you want me to post the video PM me the car reg and PCN number.

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Mousieur Claude
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:22
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Just tried the video icon again on a different computer and all I get is the same grey box with nothing in it. Ive waited a while and nothing happens so I'm guessing no video?
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Mousieur Claude
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:47
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Ok Ive managed to get the video

View My Video
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stamfordman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 22:29
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Well bang to rights if the lane was operational. The turning into Upper Marsh is some way ahead and it doesn't look like you entered the lane late on - more that you zoomed up all of it...

Absent technicalities on the PCN, that leaves signage, which we can't see on GSV as not recent enough.
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Mousieur Claude
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 14:59
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Yeah I know I went in it, As far as I was concerned the Bus Lane wasn't operational, I believed it to be Mon - Sat 7am -10am 4pm -7pm. darn it.

So what are the odds of winning based on signage alone? Clearly the case I found did. Ive got till the 19th to pay the reduced fee. What are the chances of Lambeth council messing up the NTK?
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Mousieur Claude
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 10:25
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So do You think my best option is to wait for the NTK, or pay up? Tomorrow is last day to pay. Any help appreciated.

I've not had a reply from my FOI so I guess it will not come on time.
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Mousieur Claude
post Tue, 19 Sep 2017 - 13:47
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Hi guys anyone willing to offer me advice on this? I need to decide whether to fight or to pay as today is my last day at the reduced rate.

I have been looking at the latest Bus lane legislation and I think I might have found errors in the PCN, Am I correct? I'm a novice at this so not sure.

The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005

8.5 A penalty charge notice must state—

(g)
that representations may be made, on any of the statutory grounds of appeal, to the authority against the imposition of the penalty charge but that representations made outside the 28 day period may be disregarded;

they only state the enforcement Notice will set out the grounds on which representations may be made.

(h)
what are the statutory grounds of appeal;

again not included

(j)
any electronic mail address or FAX number to which representations may be sent as an alternative to the postal address;

neither is included, however an internet address is given


(m)
that if the representations are rejected an appeal may be made on any of the statutory grounds of appeal may be made to an adjudicator in respect of a penalty charge; and


not included

Is it worth trying g to appeal this ?

This post has been edited by Mousieur Claude: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 - 13:48
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stamfordman
post Tue, 19 Sep 2017 - 14:20
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Try a PM to NeilB - he's good at these PCN issues.

Personally I'd pay it and not waste any more time.

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