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52G Rotherhithe Tunnel weight restriction
liffey
post Sun, 3 Mar 2019 - 10:31
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My husband has received a ticket for driving through Rotherhithe Tunnel in his van. It's a Mercedes Vito xlwb 2007 model. It weighs 1470kg when empty.

He didn't know that there was a new weight restriction until he got the ticket. We think TfL have been very underhanded in this and haven't publicised the change at all. Is there anything he can do?

The photos of the signs are ones he went back to take afterwards











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post Sun, 3 Mar 2019 - 10:31
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cp8759
post Wed, 13 Mar 2019 - 18:21
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QUOTE (Longtime Lurker @ Wed, 13 Mar 2019 - 00:42) *
Does that perhaps make a case for de minimis, or is that too much of a long shot?

If the gross weight is indeed 2.7 tonnes there's no chance of it being de-minimis.


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Ken Grayling
post Sat, 16 Mar 2019 - 09:13
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QUOTE (caddy @ Thu, 7 Mar 2019 - 17:13) *
Firstly, my apologies as I didn't recognise a generic dangerous goods sign, it seerms these signs exist with twin and single wheels.

Attached is the signage from google 2018 which shows the 2m width, 4.4m height, 33' length, dangerous goods and 17t GVW restrictions
[attachment=62376:A101___Google_Maps.pdf]

TfL explain the restrictions here:
https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/rotherhith...el-restrictions

and in particular say:
Weight restriction
Goods vehicles can't use Rotherhithe Tunnel if they have a gross vehicle weight of more than 2 tonnes.

Tfl's alternative crossings map:
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/rotherhithe-tunn...r-crossings.pdf
makes reference to 2tonnes weight restriction on vehicles and no mention of goods vehicles.

'Vehicles entering Rotherhithe Tunnel are subject to restrictions. If your vehicle does not comply please use alternative river crossings to complete your journey.''


With thanks to HCA and the pointer to Traffic signs manual chapter 3,
in section 5.15 it refers to the sign 622.1A which is the sign of a lorry with a number indicating wieght limit as per OP's orginal post with a 2t limit. This sign didn't exist previously at the Rotherhithe tunnel and from google 2018 there is a 626.2A max gross weight of 17t shown which is the round restrictive sign simply showing '17t mgw' as attached

This bit could be really imporant, the 622.1A which TfL now use and from the traffic signs manual:

This sign is used when goods
vehicles are prohibited for environmental reasons,
e.g. where roads are narrow and unsuitable for large
vehicles, or to protect residents from the nuisance
caused by lorries in residential streets. The sign is not
used for structural limits, such as those to protect
weak bridges (see paras 5.31 to 5.33).

622.1A Prohibition of goods vehicles exceeding
the maximum gross weight indicated
“7.5T” may be varied to “18T”. May be used with
diagram 554.3 or 620


This would suggest to me that the 622.1A goods vehicle sign should only be used with either a 7.5T or 18T restriction. TfL are using this with a 2t limit. It is not to be used for structural weight limits, but more to restrict lorries/goods-vehicles driving where they shouldn't, i.e. very narrow country lanes, residential short-cut routes etc. The only sign used for structural weight should be the 626.2A


Just as important is the now missing 626.2A sign which was previously at 17t mgw restriction and again from the Traffic signs manual:

STRUCTURAL WEIGHT LIMIT
5.31 Paras 5.15 to 5.19 give details of signs used
to prohibit goods vehicles for environmental reasons.
The weight limit prohibition sign to diagram 626.2A
indicates a structural limit and applies to all types
of vehicle, including buses. The sign is used to give
effect to an order prohibiting a vehicle above the
maximum gross weight specified on the sign from
driving on a weak bridge. When the legend in the
upper panel is varied to read “WEAK ROAD”, it is
used where an order has been made because the
condition of a road is such that its use by heavy
vehicles is liable to damage it.

626.2A Maximum weight of vehicle on bridge
“18T” may be varied to “3T”, “7.5T”, “10T”,
“13T”, “26T” or “33T”. “BRIDGE” may be
varied to “ROAD”



This would suggest to me that for a weight restriction the 626.2A sign should be used and again 2t isn't an option, the only options allowed are 3, 7.5, 10, 13, 18, 26 or 33T
This sign should be used to restrict weight of any vehicle over a weak bridge or road so even if 2t were allowed it would mean at a guess 50% of the vehicles are in contravention if a ford focus can be over 2t gvw. My guess is that TfL should actually be using a 3t 626.2A generic weight restriction sign, the use of a non-conforming 2t goods vehicle sign would seem to be designed to catch vans and minbuses out.

To me it seems that TfL are inventing signs and conflating a goods vehicle sign with a structural weight restriction sign. I have absolutely no experience in these matters, but I'd be really grateful if one of you more experienced could comment on whether I'm barking up the wrong tree.


I really appreciate your detailed analysis and am using it to challenge my PCN. Unfortunately, TfL's site is down until Sunday for maintenance. How very convenient!
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caddy
post Sat, 16 Mar 2019 - 13:46
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Hi,

I'm still waiting for clarification (up to 20 working days if at all) on whether the 622.1A sign can be used with 'any' weight designation since 2016, previously it was 7.5t and 18t, but this clarification is now missing since 2016, or at least I can't find it so it's anybody's guess.
If it can be 'any' weight since 2016 then the sign is valid and van drivers should know that a picture of a lorry means all goods vehicles including them and the 2t load means total gross laden vehicle weight, i.e. roughly anything bigger than a fiesta or corsa van.

I think we're waiting for actual photos of the proper signs rather than the advance warning signs just in case there's something amiss there.

As a lay person it looks as if there are a multitude of signs to take in. It's clear there's confusion with cabbies reportedly been turned away on the first day of enforcement and vans clearly still driving through as per the original photos.

I believe the usual advice is for the OP to post their PCN challenge for comment before submitting

-edit-
it's possible some of the wheelchair access vehicles or mobility vehicles fall foul of the 2t limit and this can't have been TfL's intention

This post has been edited by caddy: Sat, 16 Mar 2019 - 14:05
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DancingDad
post Sat, 16 Mar 2019 - 14:24
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QUOTE (caddy @ Sat, 16 Mar 2019 - 13:46) *
...…...
it's possible some of the wheelchair access vehicles or mobility vehicles fall foul of the 2t limit and this can't have been TfL's intention


My 7 seater with a gross weight of 2.9 tonne would.
Except it is a passenger car not a goods vehicle.
Does make the 2t limit seem silly and one which is likely to catch many "white van" type vehicles but that is not a valid argument.


QUOTE (caddy @ Sat, 16 Mar 2019 - 13:46) *
Hi,

I'm still waiting for clarification (up to 20 working days if at all) on whether the 622.1A sign can be used with 'any' weight designation since 2016, ……….


No point waiting, it can.
"6. The sign may have different numerals to those shown in the diagram. "
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/362/schedule/3/made
Part 4(6) applies
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hunpak
post Tue, 26 Mar 2019 - 20:34
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I drive a ford transit connect which is a very small van for work, unfortunately I have received 3x PCNs recently, I have seen the high viz officers at the start if tunnel, who never stopped me and always allowed me to drive through tbh I was not aware of any restriction on my small van.
Rotherhithe tunnel was part of my daily commute as I live in startford.

If any of you nice people can help compile a letter for appeal that would be amazing, i am totally a lay man at this and any PCN or parking ticket scares the life out of me.

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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 26 Mar 2019 - 20:51
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QUOTE (hunpak @ Tue, 26 Mar 2019 - 20:34) *
I drive a ford transit connect which is a very small van for work, unfortunately I have received 3x PCNs recently, I have seen the high viz officers at the start if tunnel, who never stopped me and always allowed me to drive through tbh I was not aware of any restriction on my small van.
Rotherhithe tunnel was part of my daily commute as I live in startford.

If any of you nice people can help compile a letter for appeal that would be amazing, i am totally a lay man at this and any PCN or parking ticket scares the life out of me.



start your own thread and post one of the PCN's give us the date of contravention and the date of notice for the others


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liffey
post Mon, 1 Apr 2019 - 18:51
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My husband went back to take photos last week and discovered that someone has spray painted over them:









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cp8759
post Mon, 1 Apr 2019 - 19:04
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3 of the 4 images you've posted won't load?


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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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liffey
post Mon, 1 Apr 2019 - 19:27
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Hopefully these work







Here's the CCTV

https://youtu.be/9HOMWrR-MSc
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cp8759
post Mon, 1 Apr 2019 - 20:38
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Well you could challenge TFL on the basis that the advance warning signs have been vandalised, won't work if this happened after the PCN was issued though. Also the regulatory sign IMO is far too far back, by the time you reach it you have no lawful route left open to you.


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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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hunpak
post Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 08:33
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So does OP and myself have any grounds of appeal, I find these PSNs very unfair like in my case I have a very small van. Due to these changes it ads at least half an hour every day each way to my commute, I am seriously thinking of changing my job, hate driving to London now.
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cp8759
post Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 13:01
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Who knows? If the signs were vandalised before the date of the PCN, there might be solid grounds to challenge. Problem is if TFL have records to show the signs were in good order both before and immediately after the date of issue of the PCN, the obscured signs will be irrelevant and a challenge will be difficult.

I might suggest making a representation on the basis of the vandalised signs and see what they come back with.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 13:01


--------------------
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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TheFonz12
post Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 15:35
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QUOTE (caddy @ Sat, 16 Mar 2019 - 14:46) *
Hi,

I'm still waiting for clarification (up to 20 working days if at all) on whether the 622.1A sign can be used with 'any' weight designation since 2016, previously it was 7.5t and 18t, but this clarification is now missing since 2016, or at least I can't find it so it's anybody's guess.
If it can be 'any' weight since 2016 then the sign is valid and van drivers should know that a picture of a lorry means all goods vehicles including them and the 2t load means total gross laden vehicle weight, i.e. roughly anything bigger than a fiesta or corsa van.

I think we're waiting for actual photos of the proper signs rather than the advance warning signs just in case there's something amiss there.

As a lay person it looks as if there are a multitude of signs to take in. It's clear there's confusion with cabbies reportedly been turned away on the first day of enforcement and vans clearly still driving through as per the original photos.

I believe the usual advice is for the OP to post their PCN challenge for comment before submitting

-edit-
it's possible some of the wheelchair access vehicles or mobility vehicles fall foul of the 2t limit and this can't have been TfL's intention


Dear Caddy, who did you ask for the clarification of the signs? Did you receive any feedback yet?
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caddy
post Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 18:03
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QUOTE (TheFonz12 @ Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 15:35) *
Dear Caddy, who did you ask for the clarification of the signs? Did you receive any feedback yet?


No reply yet.

I filled in a form here:
https://forms.dft.gov.uk/contact-dft-and-agencies/
on the 8th March and by my understanding they have until next Monday to reply. I didn't get any confirmation of my submission at the time so I don't even know if they received it. I do have a copy of what I sent so just waiting.

Everytime I see a posted photo of the tunnel it shows other small vans in contravention. There's a perfectly good enough weight restriction sign (626.2A showing weight only) which TfL used to use and I would have stopped were it a '2t' 626.2A and ~50% of cars should have done as well. TfL's own website states a 2t limit

It's bizarre that a 3t plus Land Rover or a 5t limo can pass and a tiny Fiat Doblo (smaller than most cars) can't

The 622.1A (lorry picture with ?t) may have different numerals to those shown in the diagram and up to 2016 those numerals were clarified as 7.5 or 18. This clarification is simply missing from 2016 so presumably any weight/numeral can be used no matter how stupid. Unfortunately ignorance is no defence and a driver of a tiny Fiat Doblo should somehow know the 2t lorry restriction refers to them as well and that their Doblo has a GVW of over 2t.

TfL could have done everybody a favour and used a 626.2A 3t gross weight restriction for everybody as well as the <2m> width/height.

There is a jungle of signs to take in and it does look as if the 622.1A 2t lorry (goods vehicle) sign is placed at a point of no return

I'm clearly no expert in these matters and I am very interested in the outcome.
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liffey
post Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 20:18
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 1 Apr 2019 - 21:38) *
Well you could challenge TFL on the basis that the advance warning signs have been vandalised, won't work if this happened after the PCN was issued though. Also the regulatory sign IMO is far too far back, by the time you reach it you have no lawful route left open to you.


Thanks, they were vandalised after and I don’t think it’s worth the risk to my husband’s credibility to say that they were like that at the time. The point about the lawful sign is relevant to what happened; he saw it and misinterpreted it but wouldn’t have been able to avoid going through even if he had comprehended the meaning.

Do we have any grounds to challenge on the basis of the CCTV? It’s literally 3 seconds of footage of him driving on a road. It could be anywhere!

This post has been edited by liffey: Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 20:18
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caddy
post Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 22:52
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QUOTE (liffey @ Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 20:18) *
Do we have any grounds to challenge on the basis of the CCTV? It’s literally 3 seconds of footage of him driving on a road. It could be anywhere!

The CCTV cameras are fixed, you can't argue that what they filmed no matter how long could be anywhere

The signs were clearly vandalised later, and no wonder.

Misinterpreting a sign is also no excuse, as a driver we should know the highway code or we shouldn't be driving, just as we should check tyre pressures, vehicle condition, check MOT/tax/insurance/legal status etc. before driving off... and how many of us do that.. and I would have driven through the tunnel in my vw caddy without a second thought.

I would love the DfT to confirm the 622.1A can only be used with 7.5t and 18t, but my guess is that they just screwed up so I don't hold out much hope and the fact that the sign is now probably being used for a different purpose I could imagine that getting any clarification out of them will be difficult.

The only options I can see is either paper work being wrong or the regulatory sign being too late, i.e. after a point of no return or just the sheer amount of signage to take into account or seeing other small vans being waved through by TfL bods
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hcandersen
post Thu, 4 Apr 2019 - 08:01
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What difference did the signs make to your husband? By your own account he was totally unaware of the gross vehicle weight of his vehicle and any weight-related restrictions would, like the Thames as he drove into the tunnel, have passed over his head, wouldn't they?

This is not to be critical for the sake of it, it's trying to introduce a sense of realism.

Talking of which:
Date of PCN: 22 Feb;

Latest day of 28-day period for submission of reps: 25 March.

OP, have you submitted reps yet? If not, then all straws clutched at could disappear as if in a dream and be replaced by the nightmare of a charge certificate for £195.

Have you submitted reps? A FOI request is not reps.

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baroudeur
post Thu, 4 Apr 2019 - 10:57
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QUOTE (caddy @ Wed, 3 Apr 2019 - 22:52) *
I would love the DfT to confirm the 622.1A can only be used with 7.5t and 18t, but my guess is that they just screwed up so I don't hold out much hope and the fact that the sign is now probably being used for a different purpose I could imagine that getting any clarification out of them will be difficult.


I posted much earlier.....

"Weight restrictions in place for environmental reasons may show any weight but the DfT recommends that the standard 3.5t - 7.5t - 18t signs used for vehicle and licence classifications are used as these make it easier to identify contraventions."



TfL may be identifying the weight of vans by body type on DVLA records which may comply with DfT's recommendation.

If a van is a car derived van, it will be recorded as such under ‘body type’ on the vehicle’s registration document (V5C). If there is any other entry under ‘body type’ the vehicle is not registered as a car derived van.

‘car-derived van’ means a goods vehicle which is constructed or adapted as a derivative of a passenger vehicle and which has a maximum laden weight not exceeding 2 tonnes.’


Are there any vans that are not CDVs and have a MGW under 2t?


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TheFonz12
post Thu, 4 Apr 2019 - 20:28
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Dear all, I suppose my appeal to TFL will be rejected when done.
Can someone please let me know what next step would be?
Is there an institution , like POPLA for parking on private land, that I can appeal to after TFL?
Thank you
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hcandersen
post Thu, 4 Apr 2019 - 20:56
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Why are you so hell bent on continuing to appeal?

On what substantive grounds?

At some stage you must consider the optimum outcome.

I refer you to General Melchett in Blackadder Goes Forth: episode IV, Private Plane.

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