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ULEZ and human rights (and advertising)
JThorpe
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 17:57
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I will be interested to see what happens here as I have a similar case. I have lost my first appeal so going to the London Tribunals next. I will need to submit the appeal by Saturday.

I have seen others mention that its worth stating that the signage is deficient in that it does not indicate a charge is payable. Does anyone know where there is legislation controlling the content / information on these signs? The signs seem to fall within the definition of advertisement which states;

Section 336(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) is;
“any word, letter, model, sign, placard, board, notice, awning, blind, device or representation, whether illuminated or not, in the nature of, and employed wholly or partly for the purposes of, advertisement, announcement or direction, and (without prejudice to the previous provisions of this definition) includes any hoarding or similar structure used or designed, or adapted for use and anything else principally used or designed or adapted principally for use, for the display of advertisements.”

The highway authority (Transport for London) don't have to apply for consent to erect the signs, but the regs say;

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
C.27 Part V, General Provisions, Section 64 (1) and (2)
“ (1) In this Act “traffic sign” means any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description-
a) Specified by regulations made by the relevant authority, or
b) Authorised by the relevant authotiry,
And any line or mark on a road so conveying such warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions.

Still no information regulating what information should be on the sign. My angle thus far is that we are consumers in this situation. E.G. We are being asked to pay a price for driving on public owned land by the landowner (Transport for London) for a set price - with this in mind, surely the ULEZ signs are therefore advertisements, marketing a pay for service, i.e. access along those routes into a defined area. With this in mind, and if we can have accepted that the signs are advertisements for a payable service, access, then surely the Advertising Standards Authority comes into play which states;

The ASA rule on the basis of the likely effect on consumers, not the marketer’s intentions. (this means that it doesn't matter how clear it is to those advertising, or what their intensions were, it needs to be clear to the consumer- i.e. us).

The ASA standards state;

- 3.1; Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
- 3.3; Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.

Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means.

o 3.4.3; the price of the advertised product, including taxes, or, if the nature of the product is such that the price cannot be calculated in advance, the manner in which the price is calculated;

Its clear those signs would fall foul of the ASA - they probably haven't been tested in court.

Another thought is the Human Rights Act 1998.

First the consultation and awareness campaign. This was very London focussed and put at a significant disadvantage anyone from outside the area who may once in a blue moon drive in and are then totally reliant on understanding the signs. Second, there is the fact that the Transport for London offered warning letters to those caught in the first month as first time offenders (strong term!) but issued PCNs to those caught outside that first month.

The above brings into play clear grounds for discrimination on the basis of origin and geographical residence (i.e. those outside central London). If you lived outside London you are far less likely to know what ULEZ is! Also, the first month warning should not be time bound, this is also discriminatory - they should be issuing first time warnings to everyone, like the DART charge do, then if caught a second time its fair cop.

For information the Human Rights Act states;

“Prohibition of discrimination; The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.”

Its the "social origin" and "other status" that will be generally applicable here. Looking for guidance on discrimination in contravention of the act finds that it includes situations where a person is treated less favourably than others in similar situations on the basis of a particular characteristic i.e. which region of the UK you live in or whether by chance you were caught in the first month (i.e. it discriminates against first offenders outside the first month but not inside the first month...).

Hope the above is useful to others - I really think there are flaws in ULEZ but its how to properly test them. A solicitor who knows about advertisement law and the need to clearly display information and not misleading information would be useful. Otherwise they could just say on the sign "Green Field - At all times" and charge people for that - though they might still claim the information is available online (yes if you know to search for it in the first place).

Let us know how you get on!

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post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 17:57
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cp8759
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:03
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JThorpe I have to be honest you've posted a whole load of irrelevant waffle that doesn't help and might mislead, I'm sorry to say nothing you mention has any relevance to the issues as TFL are operating a statutory scheme. Personally I would recommend you delete the contents of your post and start a thread of your own, at least to minimise the risk of confusion to others.


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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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JThorpe
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:24
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 19:03) *
JThorpe I have to be honest you've posted a whole load of irrelevant waffle that doesn't help and might mislead, I'm sorry to say nothing you mention has any relevance to the issues as TFL are operating a statutory scheme. Personally I would recommend you delete the contents of your post and start a thread of your own, at least to minimise the risk of confusion to others.


I cannot see how it misleads? Surely, there is a requirement for a sign to clearly convey its message, particularly if its asking for you to pay for it. The fact is that the ULEZ signs do not on any of the signs indicate a "charge" is payable like the congestion charge does. Now if you want to take an appeal to the Tribunal they are run by solicitors who can only look at the black and white of the law. So to argue a case at a Tribunal you need to focus on what available legislation there is (failing that guidance) that seeks to control what is on a sign.

I know the powers of the Highways Authority, in this case the Transport for London; I refer to them in my day job as a Planning Consultant. However, what I am trying to establish is that there are rules and regulations on the information on signs - not just the dimensions of a sign, which is what TFL will point you to in the 2016 Regs.

Perhaps you could assist the OP by clarifying what was waffle and incorrect so that any who read know what to follow and what not to? I put it up as genuine thoughts as to what could be argued - I thought this is what a forum would be for.

Admin - if you consider my earlier post to be misleading and not helpful to this discussion please delete.
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d123
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:50
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JThorpe

So in your mind driving a polluting diesel car is a protected characteristic under human rights?
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cp8759
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:52
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QUOTE (JThorpe @ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 19:24) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 19:03) *
JThorpe I have to be honest you've posted a whole load of irrelevant waffle that doesn't help and might mislead, I'm sorry to say nothing you mention has any relevance to the issues as TFL are operating a statutory scheme. Personally I would recommend you delete the contents of your post and start a thread of your own, at least to minimise the risk of confusion to others.


I cannot see how it misleads?

Others reading the thread in future might think that there's merit in challenging a PCN on the basis of the ASA regulations, that is misleading and a hopeless argument. Of course I agree the signs are inadequate and I've give you a link to the applicable regulations in your own thread.


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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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roythebus
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 19:31
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I'd suggest that there's so many different charges and exemptions to the ULEZ that they woul then fall foul of TSRGD which on information signs limit wording to about 8 words. On that basis nobody would time to read all that information.
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666
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 05:52
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QUOTE (JThorpe @ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:57) *
Its clear those signs would fall foul of the ASA - they probably haven't been tested in court.

And they will never be so tested, since the ASA code is not law. The ASA "is the self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation."
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cp8759
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 14:27
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QUOTE (roythebus @ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 20:31) *
I'd suggest that there's so many different charges and exemptions to the ULEZ that they woul then fall foul of TSRGD which on information signs limit wording to about 8 words. On that basis nobody would time to read all that information.

As you approach London on some major routes, there's signs that tell you you can pull over in a designated lay-by where details of the congestion charge are available. I'm not sure why they haven't taken the same approach for the ULEZ. Maybe they forget there's a world beyond the M25?


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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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PASTMYBEST
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 14:35
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They have authorisation for the sign

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-4572.pdf

that does not absolve them from compliance with LATOR 1996


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Irksome
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 18:52
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That's not the right authorisation (its a parking suspension sign)
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PASTMYBEST
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 20:03
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QUOTE (Irksome @ Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 19:52) *
That's not the right authorisation (its a parking suspension sign)



opps

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-4557.pdf


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