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38JL PCN Englefield road - Failing to keep to the left lane, Issued Failing to keep to the left lane PCN while the lane is blocked&
fochatzi
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:21
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Hi fellow motorists...hopefully someone here can help me with this...

I was driving my motorbike when i approached Englefield Road where the width restriction is, and the lane is clearly blocked by two cars in stationary position so since there was no alternative route, I decided to proceed by driving through the area marked with chevrons because “the area is bordered by broken white line markings, so i can enter if it is necessary and I can see that it is safe to do so”. In my case it was necessary due to road being blocked and it was completely safe as you can confirm by the evidence.

I appealed the ticket and Islington council rejected the appeal.

Is it not so obvious that there is no contravention of the "keep left" sign while the lane is blocked and i'm not contravening any other sign by choosing the alternative to drive over the hatching which according to 130 highway code is totally lawful??

Please advice cos they are driving me mad....

attached photos and the response they sent to me.. many thanks in advance..

This post has been edited by fochatzi: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:22
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post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:21
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stamfordman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:33
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Use a site such as Flickr for pics and post the BBcode links.

Which way in Englefield? this is just round the corner from me and it's a common site for PCNs.

When you say the width restriction lane was blocked I expect it was just cars trying to navigate the 6'6" slowly...

On another note, issuing PCNs to bikes at a proxy width restriction is absurd in my view.
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Incandescent
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 21:27
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You need to view the video as this is the only evidence they have. This should confirm your account of the circumstances. Please also post up your appeal and their rejection, plus the PCN with PCN Number and bike/address details blanked out. Leave everything else in.

If they have rejected your appeal the next stage is London Tribunals or cough-up, so you need to be sure of your facts before proceeding.
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stamfordman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 21:40
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OP will have to email Islington for video - they still haven't sorted their online system (for pics as well).
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fochatzi
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 10:56
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Hi everyone and thank you for your responses.

Here is a link with the pics from the rejection letter: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3FN8Du9H...QnZrdEtWclB2UGs

I'm looking for the PCN to attach too but i'm in the process of moving houses and it's a mess i can't find it ..hoepfully i will.

o to clarify, the two vehicles where in stationary position, not going through slowly, this is shown in the pictures as i'm moving the cars are still there, it's thte tree shade over the cars so maybe is not that clear to you in the screenshot but it is to them and there is eveidence.

I was looking for someone who had the same issue with me, it is unfair to penalise a motorbike for failing to keep to a blocked left lane which has been placed to serve a width restriction that is not being contravened while I have correctly decided according to rule 130 to proceed through the centre lane because of the exit being blocked.

So the PCN is issued for failing to keep left as per the blue arrow sign, but while the lane is blocked and there is alternative which is lawful under highway code 130 I should be able to win the case when it goes to an independent authority which is the next step.

Your thoughts and help will be helpful...many thanks!

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stamfordman
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 11:04
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We need to see the video. However I have to say that the lane looks like it probably had a Transit van of some sort going through and they are at the limit of the width so they go very slowly. I often see them inching through.

What was your appeal exactly? Did you say the lane was blocked?

An adjudicator may look kindly on you though - but you'll have to risk the full £130.
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John U.K.
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 11:16
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QUOTE
i'm in the process of moving houses


Do not neglect to update both your V5 (vehicle logbook) and your driving licence with the DVLA! Updating one does not update the other.
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DancingDad
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 11:56
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Plus 1 on get the video as this will be the evidence an adjudicator relies on, not the photos.

Must say the photos seem to support your side but the contravention is against the blue sign and overtaking a slower vehicle is not sufficient cause to ignore.
TBH, even a stationary vehicle isn't but would/should be taken as sufficient mitigation if not absolute excuse.

Silly really, if you had driven across the footway to undertake the vehicle, wrong on so many counts but lawfully following the sign.
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Robindorset
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 12:04
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I got one of these tickets in Bavaria road in Islington. I found a site called whattheyknow and read that 5000+ of these are issued at Englefield road every year. about 15 per day. That's a big income stream for them to lose out on if they improved the signs,etc. If this 'offence' was such a problem why don't they make it clearer what they want you to do. Because they would lose millions I suspect.

I won my appeal as I was diverted along bavaria road due to road-works although someone else on this site appealed on the same basis and lost!

I don't know the approach to this location but I wondered if you could use the 'stopping abruptly on a motorbike' would have been dangerous argument and that it's the van that should have been fined for blocking the carriageway.

I also used a technique I learned from an old boss of mine. I sent a very long letter 12+ pages raising all sorts of other arguments. (I was only travelling through this part of London as my girlfriend wanted to lay some flowers outside the late George Michael's house, I don't live in London and have never seen such a road layout before, I had such a lovely new years weekend in London and it would be a shame for it to be marred by this fine, etc, etc, etc).

I looked at your photos and agree that the van appears to be stopped.
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Robindorset
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 12:51
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PS:

Whatdotheyknow - freedom of information request by Mr Stokeld.

Englefield Road, PCNs for same offence. 2010 - 5767
2011 - 4126
2012 - 4511
2013 - 3435

I nice little earner I would say.
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fochatzi
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 12:56
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Thanks again everyone.

The van is blocking the exit lane because there is another car in front of the van! You can hardly see it in the picture but it's 2 cars.

My appeal was the following:

===
I wish to appeal PCN (Ref: IZ06736520) on the basis that the contravention did not occur. It is shown that I complied to the Rule 130 of the Highway Code which I have copied and pasted below.

1) Rule 130 of the Highway Code advises 'drivers that if the area gets bordered by broken white line markings, you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so'.
And it was completely safe to do so as shown by the photographic evidence.

2) As shown in the photographic evidence there is a van in stationary position blocking the exit as a result of another car in front of that van which blocks the traffic. The road markings imply that the area covered by the hatching can be entered if seen by the driver to be safe to do so, based on which there is no contravention.

3) According to TSRGD (Diagram 1040) I believe the hatching is not compliant.

Therefore I can only conclude that I have entered an area of the carriageway, because the exit was blocked and it was safe to proceed based on Rule 130, so I don't understand the grounds on which this penalty charge would be valid.

Thank you for taking into account my appeal.

With regards,
=====





The hatching is indeed not compliant as far as i understand by studying the diagrams. After i got the rejection..i'm thinking of appealing again with the independent authority by sending something along the lines of this:





I wish to appeal against the Enforcement Authority's decision on the basis that the contravention did not occur and the council has not taken into consideration significant details I have provided regarding my case.

As shown in the photographic evidence the exit lane is blocked by two vehicles both in stationary position, therefore there was no alternative route.

Traffic is directed through the left lane as a result of the width restriction placed at Englefield Road. While the road is blocked and there is no other alternative, as a motorist knowing the highway code it’s clear to me that in this occasion I can proceed by driving through the area marked with chevrons as long as “the area is bordered by broken white line markings, so i can enter if it is necessary and I can see that it is safe to do so”. In my case it was necessary due to road being blocked and it was completely safe as you can confirm by the evidence.

The keep left sign is used IN CONJUCTION WITH the width restriction island and the hatched area, it's not there on it's own, which according to the highway code makes complete sense that i can drive through since the lane is blocked and it is safe to proceed. If the bordered lines of the hatched area were continuous, that would mean no vehicle is allowed to enter unless it's an emergency. Therefore, I have read the signs properly and reacted lawfully according to the highway code.

The restriction according to the Islington Council is “A width restriction that prevents HGVs using Englefield Road as a cut through from Southgate Road to Essex Road”. Based on this statement the council should not penalise any vehicles that do not contravene the width restriction driving through the hatched area IF there are blockages in the exit lanes.
For this sgnage to be correct and me to be panalised, one of the following should apply:
1. The exit lane was NOT blocked or cars were moving slowly - which was not the case when i drove through.
2. The hatching should be bordered by a continuous white line to clearly instruct drivers that they should follow the keep left sign AND to not drive through the hatched area unless it's an emergency and the left lane is blocked.

There have been several reports online by motorists complaining about bad signage as this particular width restriction island is very unusual and confusing for most drivers and in some occasions it can even cause an accident as it is placed very close to a junction and it’s not clear due to its poor signage. Islington Council states that “All surplus funds from parking enforcement are put into highway improvements and road safety schemes.” However, it is evident that they have not improved neither the signage nor the width restriction island at this location, where according to the data provided but the council (Freedom of Information Request) an enormous amount of tickets is being issued every year at Englefield roiad creating a high revenue for the council: --i will attach the releavant info here for their own reference--



--- Any comments on my response highly appreciated!!!!


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DancingDad
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 13:07
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Forget the hatchings and references to the highway code.... you will lose.

The blue circle means you MUST pass on the side shown.... no exemptions.
But this does not mean that an adjudicator would not look at an impossible situation and find in your favour.

Which comes back to the video, was the situation impossible or a result of overtaking a slow van ?

Register the appeal by all means but keep it simple.

Contravention did not occur
I found myself in an impossible situation, faced with a keep left sign and a vehicle, seemingly stationary, blocking the route.
Further submissions to follow on receipt of evidence pack and video.
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Robindorset
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 13:42
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I seem to remember that the wording of the Islington PCN states that 'discretion' can be used to cancel the ticket due to extenuating circumstances. This is why I went into great detail. As I said, someone else on this site appealled for the same main reason as me (divertion due to road works) and they lost so they must have taken into account all the other factors that I mentioned.

The letter I received basically said, "you're guilty but we're going to let you off. Dont do it again."

I once had a PCN for forgeting to pay the congestion charge. I used to travel to London twice per month, usually on a Saturday. One time I went on a Friday and forgot, (it felt like a Saturday when it's free).

This congestion charge PCN said that no discretion could be used in any appeal and I had to pay up.

Maybe you could argue that a discretion available to Islington council was not used and should have been. I still feel that a motorbike is very different to a car. An emergency stop could have been quite dangerous. I'm not sure if you can win on a point of law but there must be provision for what to do if the lane is blocked. I would read Mr Stokeld's freedom of information request in more detail.

In Bavaria Rd, the lane was not blocked, it just looked too narrow so I drove to the right of the keep left sign.

I didn't win my appeal on a point of law. I won at the council's discretion
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fochatzi
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 14:39
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This is why I wanted to wirte a detailed letter, altought his letter now will not got to the council anymore.

And yes, there should beguidance on what to do in case the lane is blocked and the re IS alrernative route. It's not that I drove off on the pavement, or went on the right side of the street which is used for vehicled coming from the other direction...i used an alternative which seems to be accessible according to the law and the current circumstances.

I wonder what the law says though, how am I supposed to read such a sign when it doesn't even exist in the diagrams, nowhere have i found such a width restriction island as this one.

By the way, I just requested for the video evidence, just to see if the cars moved shortly after i left the junction...

RobinDorset, it seems like you were lucky with the employee that dealt with your claim, it is obvious they don't treat all tickets the same and there is absolutely no logic behind this
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DancingDad
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 14:55
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QUOTE (fochatzi @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:39) *
........I wonder what the law says though, how am I supposed to read such a sign when it doesn't even exist in the diagrams, nowhere have i found such a width restriction island as this one.

...........


Please don't go there.
Sign 610, one of the most basic signs on the roads.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/362/schedule/3/made
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fochatzi
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:10
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@DancingDad, thank you for the link, yes I understand that, of course and I agree..

my point is can i appeal on the basis of 1) while the road was blocked i had no option to drive through according to the sign so 2) reading the rest of the signs it's clear i can proceed throught the hatched area, hence the reason why they painted it as such!

Further down in the rejection letter they write: "I appreciate this may have been an unintentional error however unfortunately there are insufficient grounds to warrant the cancellation of the PCN in this occasion".
How on earth was i supposed to read the signage if not the way i did and how it being so unclear is not sufficient grounds...

The other thing that worries me now is i can't find the original PCN as my whole house is upside down....and i'm sure they wouldn't do me the favour to send me a copy not even electronically..
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stamfordman
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:24
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Just focus on getting the video if you don't want t pay the discount now. Council says it's reviewed the video - now you need to do do. Ask Islington to put it on hold if they can't make it available to you quickly.

Also, post their rejection letter in full.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:25
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fochatzi
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 16:06
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Links to pictures od the full rejection letter:

1) Front page: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3FN8Du9H...OGltTjBVQUYzbFE

2) Rear page: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3FN8Du9H...S3RHdnVWVGZhajQ

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Robindorset
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 16:34
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I still feel that you have a better chance at the tribunal if you argue that Islington have discretion to cancel these tickets, you are a responsible road user with a clean licence of x number of years and that you were confused by the situation. If 10 - 15 people per day are making the same mistake then it is reasonable to claim that you were unsure what to do. If you include the other locations in Islington with this type of road layout this goes up to more like 50 people per day.

Are 50 people per day willfully disobeying the signs and risking a fine. Mostly the lane is not even blocked, Most people think they are too narrow to get their car through or they are bicycle lanes. At Bavaria Rd, the double yellow lines are extra wide making the lane look narrower than it really is.

If you can show that you are a reasonable person facing an unreasonable situation I personally think you have a better chance than trying to win on complicated legal points. Sure, the photos and video will clearly help but I do feel that trying to show yourself as more reasonable than the opposition is the best strategy.

If Islington admit the signs are inadequete they may have to issue millions in refunds so this is very unlikely I would say.

I believe these types of PCN only apply to London so if you don't live there, then this ought to help too.
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paulajayne
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 16:37
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Video - please.
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