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PCN from TfL for driving on a restricted section of road, Caught on monitoring camera for driving on a restricted part of road
AudiA1driver
post Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 21:35
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Hi. I'm looking for a bit of advice - if anyone can help.

A couple of weeks ago I got the surprise of a delightful letter from TfL demanding money with menaces.

The PCN 'alleges' I was caught on camera driving in a restricted part of Farthing Way near Purley, South London. The restricted road segment has signs which do not indicate a time of operation only that it is restricted to cycles, motorcycles, buses and HGVs above 3.6 tons. The segment is separated by a solid white line along its length and is covered by red tarmac for most of it and double red lines at the pavement (and on beyond the restricted carriageway. I am not contesting that it was my car nor that I was in the left hand carriageway when the camera operator 'caught' me.

I think there are several things which make me think this fine has been unfairly issued.

1. The PCN 'alleges' I was in a restricted lane - which I was. However the photo only shows me in the lane for last eight car lengths of what is quite a long stretch of restricted carriageway. The camera is positioned such that it cannot record any further down the road owing to the bridge which straddles the carriageway at that point. I had, in fact, only just crossed in to that part of the road, just ahead of the bridge. The smaller of the two photos shows my car on the white carriageway line with what looks like my indicator flashing. I haven't seen the recording as TfL, bless 'em, don't provide online access but should back up my claim. If you just looked at the larger, closer up photo, you would be forgiven for thinking I'd driven the length of the restricted carriageway!

2. Though there is an 'end of restricted road' marker it is quite small, positioned well to the left of quite a wide section of pavement and the other side of the bridge straddling the road (the small black square to the far right in the smaller photo). I only know this because I went back to check as I've never noticed it before! There are a set of traffic lights 50 yards beyond the sign. The dual carriageway becomes a single lane road immediately after the lights too. Traffic often slows rapidly after a change of lights and / or there can be a build up of queuing traffic at this point - so it requires a driver to concentrate on the road ahead, leaving little room for observing peripheral signs.

3. The red tarmac of the restricted road section becomes ordinary 'grey' tarmac at exactly the point I crossed in to it. My contention is that the road and sign design is poor as it leads drivers to the false conclusion that this segment of road is a 'transition' area - i.e. can be used to transition in to the left hand lane just before the traffic lights (where there is also a left turn). My 'evidence' for this contention is that I went back and monitored the road and observed at least 22 cars (roughly one in ten) cross at or close to where I did - certainly still within the restricted length before the sign. I photographed 15 of them on my phone.

4. I was not in any way obstructing 'legitimate' traffic in this section of road as there were no other vehicles in front or behind me!

5. This is the first time in something like 15 or 20 years of regularly driving on this route, where I will have performed this manoeuvre many, many times, that I have been issued a PCN by TfL.

I have submitted an appeal to TfL (complete with 'evidence photos') - which they will undoubtedly reject. My question is - do I have sufficient grounds to take this to independent appeal or should I just swallow it and stump up into what is undoubtedly TfL's 'top up' fund?

I have read a fair few postings and sample cases and think there appears to be 'de minimise' and / or 'legitimate expectation' arguments here - particularly in view of the fact that I was not obstructing anything and that cars commonly cross here. I also wondered whether there is an argument to suggest TfL are not exactly being consistent with their PCN issuing. Given that I monitored the traffic some two weeks after my PCN was issued and many, many vehicles were still entering the so-called restricted area, suggesting that they had not (yet) been issued a PCN and that it had taken TfL 15 years or more to issue me with my first PCN for this stretch of road it does seem a little inconsistent... (And if TfL have been issuing PCNs each and every time since mine was, then at the rate of 30 infringements an hour on average that would amount to some £131,000 per year in fines on this little stretch of road alone - assuming only a 12 hour monitoring day and everyone paying only the 'discounted' rate! As I pointed out to TfL. A nice little earner if true. Of course that sum might go down if 'offenders' are now regularly being caught... :-/

Is this a 'fair cop'? Should I just 'roll over' and go belly up to TfL or do I have a case (or any other arguments)?

I don't want to be a fool and have to stump up the whole £130 rather than TfLs 'generously' discounted £65 if it's pretty clear I have no case.

I attach the PCN (with reg plate and other details obscured).

I thank you in advance for any help / advice you good people can give.

This post has been edited by AudiA1driver: Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 21:54
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Attached File  TfL_PCN.pdf ( 1.13MB ) Number of downloads: 21
 
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post Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 21:35
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PASTMYBEST
post Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 21:39
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Being in a bus lane code 34.

Ask TfL for the video but in the meantime post a GSV link


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AudiA1driver
post Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 22:01
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Hi

Thank you for your reply 'Pastmybest'. Sorry to be dense but I'm not familiar with what a 'GSV link' is.
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PASTMYBEST
post Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 22:03
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QUOTE (AudiA1driver @ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 23:01) *
Hi

Thank you for your reply 'Pastmybest'. Sorry to be dense but I'm not familiar with what a 'GSV link' is.


Google street view we need to have a look round at the signage


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AudiA1driver
post Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 22:07
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blush.gif Ah, yes, of course! I was thinking it was something far more technical!

Here it is:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.3225399,-...33;8i8192?hl=en
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Incandescent
post Thu, 27 Jun 2019 - 08:46
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The usual test for a de minimis argument for a bus lane appeal is about 20 metres in the lane. However, even this is not guaranteed to be applied by an adjudicator, it depends on the circumstances and what the video shows. The video is the sole evidence of the allegation, so very important you and us see this before making a decision to pay or appeal it.

This post has been edited by Incandescent: Thu, 27 Jun 2019 - 08:46
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Neil B
post Thu, 27 Jun 2019 - 11:55
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Ignoring the OP's rather hopeful estimations of distance for a moment.

I do agree sometimes that transgressions of this nature, having no impact on other traffic are no less trivial than
someone entering a bus lane 5-8m before the end (IF turning left). Hence de minimis could equally apply.

One caveat.
QUOTE (AudiA1driver @ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 - 22:35) *
4. I was not in any way obstructing 'legitimate' traffic in this section of road as there were no other vehicles in front or behind me!

Erm ---- the vehicle to your right?
Depends what the video shows in respect to that.


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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 11 May 2018 - 12:30) *
Neil is good at working backwards.

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AudiA1driver
post Thu, 27 Jun 2019 - 16:17
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Request for the video evidence has been submitted to TfL. It is going to arrive by donkey on the third Woetide's eve, they hope before the summer equinox. I merely have to transcribe the sandscrit from the granite block the Betamax video will be encrypted in and I will be able to view - in 320 x 320 black and white low res - if I attach a large eye glass to my monitor.

I wonder if the TLA 'MP4' and 'weblink' has any resonance at TfL? Probably. But 'DVD' and 'in the post' has so much more chance of not arriving / not playing properly / at all, maybe?

Anyway, enough of the ranting. Thank you to all those who have tried to be helpful so far.

Is 'de minimis' my only argument here, by the way? Does the fact that so many others do the same thing on the same stretch and that this has been going on for years without a murmur previously from TfL not have any traction? (Pun only mildly intended btw).

And, Neil B, I meant no traffic in front or behind me in the restricted lane - but take your point about the video evidence.

This post has been edited by AudiA1driver: Thu, 27 Jun 2019 - 17:55
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cp8759
post Fri, 28 Jun 2019 - 10:25
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First things first, you only get an equinox in spring or autumn, so if you're waiting for the summer equinox, you'll be waiting for a very long time indeed (I suppose it could happen if the Earth's axis of rotation were to change so that the poles were to move to the equator, but in that scenario we'll have bigger worries than your PCN).

I'm not sure you'll be able to argue a legitimate expectation argument here because bus lanes have never been decriminalised (the police can in theory still prosecute you for driving in a bus lane) and it has been ruled that there cannot ever be a "legitimate expectation" defence in criminal law; it would be utterly surprising if a legitimate expectation argument could then succeed (or not) depending on who the enforcing authority happens to be (police vs TFL). I'm also not convinced your evidence is sufficient to raise a legitimate expectation defence in the firsts place, for example you don't know that all the cars you saw didn't also get a PCN.

Post the video when you get it and we'll take it from there.


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AudiA1driver
post Fri, 28 Jun 2019 - 14:57
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cp8759 - re: equinox. Damn! I should have suspected they were pulling the wool over my eyes!

Yes - it had certainly crossed my mind that I 'didn't know for sure that they all hadn't received a PCN too' - just that, on balance, it seemed unlikely given the high number of infringements. But, of course, I don't know how the law works in practice and hence the perhaps naive questions. I'll sit still and wait for the Betamax...
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AudiA1driver
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 22:27
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Okay - so I've just recently finally got the DVD from TfL. I've added it to this thread. I've had to edit the original in order to be able to upload it here so you only see the time from when my car appears. I'll leave it to you to interpret / assess. Many thanks once more for taking the time to review and comment.
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Attached File  TFL_monitoring_video.mov ( 431.28K ) Number of downloads: 45
 
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Mad Mick V
post Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 08:11
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Have TfL indicated they will hold the discount?

Second, IMO the road marking is significant:-

https://www.google.com/maps/place/A23+%26+F...33;4d-0.1347978

Why doesn't the red tarmac end at the extremity of the white line? It will give the impression to motorists that the bus lane ends when the red tarmac runs out. Ergo the lines and signs are confusing and inadequate and do not meet the requirements of Reg 18 LATOR 1996.

Mick
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PASTMYBEST
post Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 10:51
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I can see an adjudicator interpreting that ass moving into the bus lane to gain an advantage (undertake a slower car) it does not seem you turned left


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Neil B
post Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 13:05
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 11:51) *
that ass moving into the bus lane

Oh!
No need for that old chap laugh.gif


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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 11 May 2018 - 12:30) *
Neil is good at working backwards.

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PASTMYBEST
post Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 13:21
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QUOTE (Neil B @ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 14:05) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 11:51) *
that ass moving into the bus lane

Oh!
No need for that old chap laugh.gif

wub.gif


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AudiA1driver
post Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 14:23
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 11:51) *
I can see an adjudicator interpreting that ass moving into the bus lane to gain an advantage (undertake a slower car) it does not seem you turned left



Er, 'thanks' 'Pastmybest'. Is that your considered opinion or is it a means, from one who is no doubt at all times an impeccable user of the Queens highways, of having a snide dig a fellow driver? If the latter - it's unhelpful. If the former - thank you but kindly leave out the adjudicators possible character judgement of the driver as your subjective opinion of what the adjudicator may or may not think of the drivers' character is both irrelevant and distracting (see first sentence of this para...)
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John U.K.
post Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 15:21
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I don't think PMB was intending to add an extra 's' to the word 'as' - he was simply warning how an adj might interpret the driver's action.

This post has been edited by John U.K.: Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 15:29
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Neil B
post Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 16:22
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QUOTE (AudiA1driver @ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 15:23) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 11:51) *
I can see an adjudicator interpreting that as moving into the bus lane to gain an advantage (undertake a slower car) it does not seem you turned left



Er, 'thanks' 'Pastmybest'. Is that your considered opinion or is it a means, from one who is no doubt at all times an impeccable user of the Queens highways, of having a snide dig a fellow driver? If the latter - it's unhelpful. If the former - thank you but kindly leave out the adjudicators possible character judgement of the driver as your subjective opinion of what the adjudicator may or may not think of the drivers' character is both irrelevant and distracting (see first sentence of this para...)


You have lots of experience of adjudication then do you?

I agree with the honourable member for Stockport.


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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 11 May 2018 - 12:30) *
Neil is good at working backwards.

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cp8759
post Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 18:50
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QUOTE (AudiA1driver @ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 15:23) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 11:51) *
I can see an adjudicator interpreting that ass moving into the bus lane to gain an advantage (undertake a slower car) it does not seem you turned left



Er, 'thanks' 'Pastmybest'. Is that your considered opinion or is it a means, from one who is no doubt at all times an impeccable user of the Queens highways, of having a snide dig a fellow driver? If the latter - it's unhelpful. If the former - thank you but kindly leave out the adjudicators possible character judgement of the driver as your subjective opinion of what the adjudicator may or may not think of the drivers' character is both irrelevant and distracting (see first sentence of this para...)

Virtually everything we do on here is driven by what we predict an adjudicator might think and say. If the adjudicator thinks you used the bus lane to gain an advantage, it's unlikely they'll rule in your favour on the basis of de-minimis.


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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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AudiA1driver
post Sun, 21 Jul 2019 - 21:32
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Virtually everything we do on here is driven by what we predict an adjudicator might think and say. If the adjudicator thinks you used the bus lane to gain an advantage, it's unlikely they'll rule in your favour on the basis of de-minimis.
[/quote]

Thank you cp8759. I gathered from what's been posted that 'the car, reg xx xx xx, was using the left hand restricted lane to overtake slow moving traffic ahead' was what the adjudicator would think and therefore would rule against. And when I get the inevitable 'We have not found in your favour, cough up chum' from TfL, that, with much grinding of teeth, I will do.

I can see what you mean regarding the accidental(?) extra 's' in 'as' but equally as much I wasn't born yesterday and it could also be interpreted as someone trying to get away with a smirking smartarse comment - particularly as I didn't see a subsequent apology or correction.

No matter what the standard of driving - and I must admit that looking at the video it is perhaps not the very finest ever witnessed - forum posters - if they want to be taken seriously and not merely as piss-takers - ought to resist the temptation to show off their 'wit'. Or at the very least check their spelling. It isn't that difficult in a one line sentence.

Anyway - thank you for your help.

£65... I suppose that means no Christmas dinner for junior then. Again.
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