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PCN BUS LANE - OXFORD ROAD MANCHESTER - CHARLES STREET TO BRANCASTER ROAD
vw73
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 10:47
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Hi smile.gif

Hope someone can help regarding a PCN - Manchester City Council Bus Lane Contravention:

OXFORD ROAD (CHARLES STREET TO BRANCASTER ROAD)

I've read tons of posts on the stretch of road, studied google maps and also the Adjudicators findings which I believe MCC have appealed against.
I also understand that (some/all?) appeals are being placed on hold pending this.

I too would like to appeal, as the whole signage in the area is very confusing.

It was a busy saturday evening and dark when we drove through town - I turned left from Whitworth Street into Oxford Road - pedestrians playing Frogger with the traffic and buses/taxis everywhere. Added to this chaos, the traffic flows freely in the opposite direction giving the impression that cars can enter.

I've viewed the footage and there is clearly lots of traffic flowing the opposite way. We had a bus behind us, a bike alongside us and lots of pedestrians on the footpath. Also there are construction works going on (Old BBC building i think?) which add to confusion as the sign is right on the corner amidst all the scaffolding!

Just not sure what to actually write/attach to the appeal - any help/thoughts would be gratefully received.

TIA smile.gif




[attachment=62185:Video.MOV]

This post has been edited by vw73: Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 11:05
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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 10:59
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You will have the argument that the signage is inadequate and it is a strong one following the decision I posted in the other thread. but first you will have to make representations to the council which they will undoubtedly reject.

post a draft of what you intend to send and we will help firm it up


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vw73
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 11:04
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 10:59) *
You will have the argument that the signage is inadequate and it is a strong one following the decision I posted in the other thread. but first you will have to make representations to the council which they will undoubtedly reject.

post a draft of what you intend to send and we will help firm it up


Thanks for your response...Do I need to include screenshots from google maps etc on my appeal...i've never done this before so am unsure what to do?

Also, I've seen 'templates' on other posts, shall I use one of these and change it a bit or are MCC wise to these?
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Incandescent
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 12:00
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The whole Oxford Road scheme has been very controversial and adjudicators have been scathing of the way it has been set up in terms of signage. Manchest CC continue to bluff their way that it is all perfect when quite plainly it isn't, with the volume of PCNs being issued every week. Manchester CC also say it is a major scheme yet it has all been done on an extremely cheap basis, hardly matching the intentions of the scheme. The latest judgement of an adjudicator who made a site visit was of the gross inadequacy of signs. One significant comment he made was that the approach from the south at the initial entry point, very few PCNs were issued, and he pointed out this was very likely due to the installation of a central island with signs on this and the adjacent footway, thus putting the signs in direct view. Elsewhere it's just a joke with builders putting scaffolding round some of the signs. The extreme business of the streets with pedestrians and fleets of buses rushing along means a motorist's attention must be on safely driving.

Manchester CC have now requested a review of the latest adjudication which we on this await its result with interest

The main point to make is that you have to stand your ground and firmly eschew the discount option as anybody getting a PCN on this blighted street is likely to win at adjudication.

This post has been edited by Incandescent: Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 12:05
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cp8759
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 12:45
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You could use this: http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...p;#entry1435978


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vw73
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 14:26
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QUOTE (Incandescent @ Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 12:00) *
The whole Oxford Road scheme has been very controversial and adjudicators have been scathing of the way it has been set up in terms of signage. Manchest CC continue to bluff their way that it is all perfect when quite plainly it isn't, with the volume of PCNs being issued every week. Manchester CC also say it is a major scheme yet it has all been done on an extremely cheap basis, hardly matching the intentions of the scheme. The latest judgement of an adjudicator who made a site visit was of the gross inadequacy of signs. One significant comment he made was that the approach from the south at the initial entry point, very few PCNs were issued, and he pointed out this was very likely due to the installation of a central island with signs on this and the adjacent footway, thus putting the signs in direct view. Elsewhere it's just a joke with builders putting scaffolding round some of the signs. The extreme business of the streets with pedestrians and fleets of buses rushing along means a motorist's attention must be on safely driving.

Manchester CC have now requested a review of the latest adjudication which we on this await its result with interest

The main point to make is that you have to stand your ground and firmly eschew the discount option as anybody getting a PCN on this blighted street is likely to win at adjudication.



Thank you for your advice _ I have read the Adjudicators report - interesting reading!


QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 12:45) *


Thanks cp8759 - I've looked at the draft and have amended it to suit my circumstances which are different to that case.
Its quite long but I will post up for people to see before I send.

One thing i did want to ask is - do i mention the adjudicators report in my appeal?
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vw73
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 14:43
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Here's the first draft of my appeal - open to thoughts. TIA smile.gif

I wish to make a representation against the imposition of the penalty charge for the following reasons:

On the evening in question I was travelling along Whitworth Street in Manchester and made a left turn into Oxford Street, I then carried onto Oxford Road and entered the ‘bus lane’ at 20:27 hours as I passed the junction of Charles Street where the contravention occurred. At this point I had no idea I had entered said ‘bus lane’.
After consulting Google it became apparent to me that this particular stretch of the A34 is a ‘bus gate’, something neither me or it seems the Highway Code has heard of.
I consider myself a courteous, obedient and observant driver, and so am unaware how I quite literally - missed the signs.

Whilst I am sure that the signs employed by Manchester City Council comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, the signs nonetheless fail to adequately convey the restrictions until indeed split second decisions have been made and it’s too late and dangerous to take corrective action.

I contend that the signage along my route is inadequate and fails to meet the requirements of regulation 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 which provides, in so far as is relevant, that:

"Where an order relating to any road has been made, the order making authority shall take such steps as are necessary to secure—

(a) before the order comes into force, the placing on or near the road of such traffic signs in such positions as the order making authority may consider requisite for securing that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road;
(b) the maintenance of such signs for so long as the order remains in force"


Whilst I agree there are signs along Whitworth Street, these signs do not state the restrictions for the Traffic Regulation Order. These advance signs do not alert to any restrictions as such and these restrictions are only conveyed by regulatory signs placed at or as close as possibly to where the restrictions commence.

This sign states local traffic left and traffic (not local?) straight on with no motor vehicles turning right, however traffic is allowed to turn right outside of restricted periods – this in itself is confusing for drivers turning right.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4749817,-2....6384!8i8192

I however, turned left out of this junction unaware and un-notified of any restrictions. I know this section is a busy bus route however I did not notice any bus lane markings on the road or blue bus lane signs.

Pic shows : Left turn into Oxford Street (as I believe this small stretch is called – changing into Oxford Road I presume after the bridge in the image). This indicates no signs or restrictions.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4747458,-2....6384!8i8192


This street then becomes Oxford Road and is a very complicated and busy area with bus stops, pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes, wide pavements in between. Whilst I appreciate that there is a sign this is easily obscured by buses and easily missed amidst the confusion.

Pictures show : The confusing multi-use areas on Oxford Street / Road just before the junction to Charles Street.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4738683,-2....6384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4738683,-2....6384!8i8192

Picture shows : Signage stating no motor vehicles straight on – no right turn and other traffic left. There is prior indication of any other restrictions and contradicts the next sign you see.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4743136,-2....6384!8i8192

It is only when you come upon the junction at Oxford Road/Charles Street that the regulatory signs convey that a "no motor vehicles" restriction is in force from 6 am to 9 pm, except for buses, taxis and permit holders.This sign is beyond the traffic lights and easily obscured by buses and the construction works currently going on in that area.
Given also that I was not only driving in the dark with a bus behind me and a cyclist to my left, I was also trying to second guess pedestrians who appeared to playing a human version of Frogger, it was no surprise that I didn’t happen to see the sign.
There are no signs on Oxford Street that accurately convey this restriction and on going through the junction it would by then be far too late to take an alternative route: reversing or performing a u-turn in the middle of a busy road is not a real option and it may well open up the driver to prosecution from the police for driving without due care and attention and put other road users in considerable danger.


Picture shows : The lights and junction signage at Oxford Rd / Charles St Junction…the ONLY time the restrictions are seen, after negotiating the busy Oxford Street area.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.4734967,-2....6384!8i8192

The situation might be different if the advance warning signs on Whitworth Street or Oxford street adequately conveyed the upcoming restrictions provided for in the Traffic Regulation Order, but that is not the case in this instance. Perhaps this because this very small stretch of highway is not considered to be part of the Oxford road Bus Gate – as shown in this picture. However it all proves very confusing for a motorist attempting to navigate safely through a busy town.

This picture shows the route along the A34 and the areas that are considered a bus gate, with the small section from Whitworth Junction to Charles Junction not bound by any regulations. Thus increasing the confusion to motorists.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mi...529145&z=15

I feel that for the above stated reasons the Highways Authority has failed to discharge its duties under regulation 18 above and the alleged contravention did not occur.



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cp8759
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 16:40
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Two things I would mention. Firstly, you could and probably should refer to the tribunal decision in Mr Watkin and others v Manchester City Council, I would go as far as sending them a copy with your representation. Secondly, I would not include any links to Google Maps. You can't count on the council following any of your links, so you will need to embed or attach screenshots to your appeal. Other than that, it seems more than adequate.


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vw73
post Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 19:42
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 2 Mar 2019 - 16:40) *
Two things I would mention. Firstly, you could and probably should refer to the tribunal decision in Mr Watkin and others v Manchester City Council, I would go as far as sending them a copy with your representation. Secondly, I would not include any links to Google Maps. You can't count on the council following any of your links, so you will need to embed or attach screenshots to your appeal. Other than that, it seems more than adequate.


Thanks again for your help...I have got the screen shots on my original doc but they didn’t show when I copied to here so had to put the links so people here could see...also yes I did think toninclude the adjudicators report so I will add that and refer them to it.

I will send off and post up any response I get.
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vw73
post Sun, 3 Mar 2019 - 08:59
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Hi again,

I’ve been reading other people’s cases and are presentations again and do you think I should not include the bits about the bus lane road markings and the bus gate areas?

Also do I need to refer to the adjudicators decision and newspaper clips?

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=125384

This is the one In particular I was looking at.

Any further advice would be fab before I send it.

Thanks smile.gif
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cp8759
post Sun, 3 Mar 2019 - 21:41
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By all means mention the road markings and the lack thereof. I wouldn't bother with newspaper clips but you want to reference the tribunal decisions.


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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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vw73
post Mon, 4 Mar 2019 - 15:44
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Ok so after a few tweaks I am/was ready to submit my rep to MCC.

Just a couple of queries before I do...

On the MCC website it gives the choice to appeal either Bus Lane or Bus Gate - does it matter which I choose. The PCN states BUS LANE PENALTY and makes no mention of bus gates - only after coming onto this forum did I learn that its actually a bus gate. Which do I choose? Am I being a pedant or does it matter. Is there a legal implication here perhaps? (I know nothing of these things but know sometimes things can get thrown out on technicalities.

It asks this question twice...see links to screens..

https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/homepage/8...s_and_bus_gates

https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/forms/form...r_bus_lane_fine

Also I bow to your greater knowledge, WTAF is a bus gate?! I've been driving for more years than I care to state and I've never heard of one...also I can't see any reference in the highway code? Does anyone know where the official garb on it is? Do bus lanes not have to be clearly marked up with road markings and blue signs? Is a bus gate something the councils just made up?!?

If the PCN states Bus Lane Contravention but it was actually a Bus Gate - is the PCN even correct and therefore enforcable?

I apologies if these questions have already been raised before, I did look but cant see it anywhere.

Thanks again guys...
Clare smile.gif

This post has been edited by vw73: Mon, 4 Mar 2019 - 15:46
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cp8759
post Mon, 4 Mar 2019 - 19:47
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QUOTE (vw73 @ Mon, 4 Mar 2019 - 15:44) *
Ok so after a few tweaks I am/was ready to submit my rep to MCC.

Just a couple of queries before I do...

On the MCC website it gives the choice to appeal either Bus Lane or Bus Gate - does it matter which I choose

No, as either link ultimately leads you to this form: https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/forms/form...r_bus_lane_fine

As I said, show us a draft. A bus gate is a section of road that can only be used by buses (and other exempt vehicles such as bicycles etc). There's lots of stuff that isn't covered in the Highway Code, but to be honest even if you read all the 547 pages of the traffic signs regulations, there'd still be quite a few things you wouldn't know about.

Put a final draft of your representation on here before sending it off.


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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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vw73
post Mon, 4 Mar 2019 - 22:07
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Here's my draft - obviously the pic don't load here. I have saved it as a PDF to send to MCC.

**EDITED DRAFT AS REQUESTED** 9:45aM 6/3/19

I wish to make a representation against the imposition of the penalty charge for the following reasons:

On the evening in question I was travelling along Whitworth Street in Manchester and made a left turn into Oxford Street, I then carried onto Oxford Road and entered the ‘bus lane’ at 20:27 hours as I crossed the junction of Charles Street where the contravention occurred. At this point I had no idea I had entered said ‘bus lane’ and continued on with my journey along Oxford Road. I consider myself a courteous, obedient and observant driver, and so am unware how I missed the signs - literally.

Whilst I am sure that the signs employed by Manchester City Council comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, the signs nonetheless fail to adequately convey the restrictions until indeed split second decisions have been made and it’s too late and dangerous to take corrective action.

I contend that the signage along my route is inadequate and fails to meet the requirements of regulation 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 which provides, in so far as is relevant, that:

"Where an order relating to any road has been made, the order making authority shall take such steps as are necessary to secure—

(a) before the order comes into force, the placing on or near the road of such traffic signs in such positions as the order making authority may consider requisite for securing that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road;
(b) the maintenance of such signs for so long as the order remains in force"

May I also take this opportunity to refer to the adjudicators decision here : Mr Watkin and others v Manchester City Council (case reference MC0 1044-1808)

It is also evident that thousands of motorists have made similar mistakes along this route and this points to the fact that the signage is confusing in the least. This is well documented online and also in several newspaper and news reports.

Whilst I agree there are signs along Whitworth Street, these advance signs do not alert to any restrictions as such and these restrictions are only conveyed by regulatory signs placed at or as close as possibly to where the restrictions commence and these signs do not state the restrictions for the Traffic Regulation Order.



This sign states local traffic left and traffic (not local?) straight on with no motor vehicles turning right, however traffic is allowed to turn right outside of restricted periods – this in itself is confusing for drivers turning right.

I however, turned left out of this junction unaware and un-notified of any restrictions. I know this section is a busy bus route however I did not notice any bus lane markings on the road or blue bus lane signs.

Pic shows : Left turn into Oxford Street (as I believe this small stretch is called – changing into Oxford Road I presume after the bridge in the image). This indicates no signs or restrictions.




This street then becomes Oxford Road and is a very complicated and busy area with bus stops, pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes, wide pavements in between. Whilst I appreciate that there is a sign this is easily obscured by buses and easily missed amidst the confusion.







Pictures show : The confusing multi-use areas on Oxford Street / Road just before the junction to Charles Street.






Picture shows : Signage stating no motor vehicles straight on – no right turn and other traffic left. There is prior indication of any other restrictions and contradicts the next sign you see.

It is only when you come across the junction at Oxford Road/Charles Street that the regulatory signs convey that a "no motor vehicles" restriction is in force from 6 am to 9 pm, except for buses, taxis and permit holders. This sign is beyond the traffic lights and easily obscured by buses and indeed the construction works currently going on in that area. There is a sign on the opposite side of the road, however this sign is at an angle and is not immediately identifiable as being relevant to traffic moving onwards, it may be deemed that this sign is relevant to people exiting Charles Street.
On the night in question, I was not only driving in the dark with a bus behind me and a cyclist to my left, I was also trying to second guess pedestrians who in their merriment appeared to playing a human version of Frogger. This is undoubtedly a very busy area and all attention is going on what other road users and pedestrians are doing so it was no surprise that I didn’t happen to see the sign.
As there are no prior warning signs on Oxford Street that accurately convey this restriction, after entering the junction, particularly with cyclists to your left, it is far too late to take an alternative route: stopping, reversing or performing a U-turn in the middle of a busy junction is not an option and it may well open up the driver to prosecution from the police for driving without due care and attention and put other road users in considerable danger.
One might also go on to add, that the signs are also confusing for other road users, for example taxi drivers and cyclists, as the sign just prior to lights at the Oxford/Charles junction states no entry except buses, however in line with the restrictions these road users would be allowed to enter the area.

Picture shows : The lights and junction signage at Oxford Rd / Charles St Junction…the ONLY time the restrictions are seen, after negotiating the busy Oxford Street area.




Picture shows, sign on Oxford Road in an angled position – unclear of which route it relates to.


The situation might be different if the advance warning signs on Whitworth Street or Oxford Street adequately conveyed the upcoming restrictions provided for in the Traffic Regulation Order, but that is not the case in this instance. One might question if this is because this very small stretch of highway is not considered to be restricted or part of the Oxford road Bus Gate – as shown in this picture. Maybe there is no obligation for the Council to erect signage here, but doing so would give due warning to motorists falling outside of the restrictions.


This picture shows the route along the A34 and the areas that are considered a bus gate, with the small section from Whitworth Junction to Charles Junction not bound by any restrictions. Thus increasing the confusion to motorists.


I feel that for the above stated reasons the Highways Authority has failed to discharge its duties under regulation 18 above and the alleged contravention did not occur.


This post has been edited by vw73: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 - 09:46
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cp8759
post Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 12:00
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I think there's a conflict of tone here, one the one hand "as a humble layperson I can honestly say that I have no in-depth knowledge", on the other hand you also say

"Whilst I am sure that the signs employed by Manchester City Council comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, the signs nonetheless fail to adequately convey the restrictions until indeed split second decisions have been made and it’s too late and dangerous to take corrective action.

I contend that the signage along my route is inadequate and fails to meet the requirements of regulation 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 which provides, in so far as is relevant, that:
"

Now you can take two approaches: You're the humble layperson who relies on the highway code, or you're the savvy person who's taken the time to read the regulations in detail and is putting the authority to proof that the regulations have been complied with. I think it has to be one or the other, otherwise an adjudicator (who will be reading your representations down the line) may think you've just made a mish-mash of stuff you've found online and he might hence assume you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Personally I would take out the humble layperson stuff out, I can't recall a single case where such an approach has ever helped anyone.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 12:02


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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 Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 12:28
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 12:00) *
I think there's a conflict of tone here, one the one hand "as a humble layperson I can honestly say that I have no in-depth knowledge", on the other hand you also say

"Whilst I am sure that the signs employed by Manchester City Council comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, the signs nonetheless fail to adequately convey the restrictions until indeed split second decisions have been made and it’s too late and dangerous to take corrective action.

I contend that the signage along my route is inadequate and fails to meet the requirements of regulation 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 which provides, in so far as is relevant, that:
"

Now you can take two approaches: You're the humble layperson who relies on the highway code, or you're the savvy person who's taken the time to read the regulations in detail and is putting the authority to proof that the regulations have been complied with. I think it has to be one or the other, otherwise an adjudicator (who will be reading your representations down the line) may think you've just made a mish-mash of stuff you've found online and he might hence assume you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Personally I would take out the humble layperson stuff out, I can't recall a single case where such an approach has ever helped anyone.


Agreed the moment you say I'm just a humble layperson, your not


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vw73
post Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 16:10
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 12:00) *
I think there's a conflict of tone here, one the one hand "as a humble layperson I can honestly say that I have no in-depth knowledge", on the other hand you also say

"Whilst I am sure that the signs employed by Manchester City Council comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, the signs nonetheless fail to adequately convey the restrictions until indeed split second decisions have been made and it’s too late and dangerous to take corrective action.

I contend that the signage along my route is inadequate and fails to meet the requirements of regulation 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 which provides, in so far as is relevant, that:
"

Now you can take two approaches: You're the humble layperson who relies on the highway code, or you're the savvy person who's taken the time to read the regulations in detail and is putting the authority to proof that the regulations have been complied with. I think it has to be one or the other, otherwise an adjudicator (who will be reading your representations down the line) may think you've just made a mish-mash of stuff you've found online and he might hence assume you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Personally I would take out the humble layperson stuff out, I can't recall a single case where such an approach has ever helped anyone.


Agreed - Thank you smile.gif I have taken that part out...shall I also take out this part?

"and after consulting the highway code I am still non-the wiser. Perhaps you could point me to the section of the highway code that details bus gate operation, as I would not want to make this same mistake again in a busy city where bus lanes are not clearly marked with road markings and the familiar blue signs. Every day after all is a school day. "

Thanks also to PASTMYBEST for looking at this too smile.gif

This post has been edited by vw73: Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 16:11
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cp8759
post Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 18:09
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Yes take that bit out too. Edit your post 14 above so we can see what it reads like now.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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vw73
post Wed, 6 Mar 2019 - 09:47
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 5 Mar 2019 - 18:09) *
Yes take that bit out too. Edit your post 14 above so we can see what it reads like now.


Post no 14 edited as requested smile.gif
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cp8759
post Wed, 6 Mar 2019 - 18:00
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Delete this:
QUOTE
May I also take this opportunity to refer to the adjudicators decision here : Mr Watkin and others v Manchester City Council (case reference MC0 1044-1808)

In the last paragraph, replace
QUOTE
I feel that for the above stated reasons the Highways Authority has failed to discharge its duties under regulation 18 above and the alleged contravention did not occur.

with this
QUOTE
For the above reasons the Highways Authority has failed to discharge its duties under regulation 18 above and the alleged contravention did not occur. This is supported by the decision in Mr Watkin and others v Manchester City Council (case reference MC0 1044-1808) where the adjudicator had the benefit of a site visit. I note that since then the council has requested a review and on 3 March 2019 the tribunal refused the council's request and upheld the original decision.

In light of this, it would be wholly unreasonable for the council to pursue enforcement any further at this time: should the matter proceed to the tribunal, the outcome is for all practical purposes a foregone conclusion.


Send it off and let's see what they say. If they don't cancel, I would go after them for costs at the next stage.


--------------------
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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