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Congestion Charge Trap
GlosAve
post Tue, 17 Sep 2019 - 14:24
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If you drive down Gloucester Place in London, intending to turn right at Marylebone Road, you find when you get to Marylebone Road that you have to go straight across, you can't turn right. You could then go left, down Bickenhall Street, but that's not the way you want to go, and you can see a sign marking the start of the Congestion and ULEZ Zone straight ahead at the next junction. So you go to that, thinking you will turn right. At that point you can't go left and you can't go right either (into York Street), without entering the Congestion and ULEZ Zone. So you should do a U-turn in the middle of the street. Which is ridiculous.

I took this route, as advised by Waze. Waze told me to turn right onto York Street even though I don't have ULEZ compliant or C Charge Exempt selected in the app. I missed the signs at the entrance to York Street (relying on Waze and never imagining that the appropriate thing to do would be a U-turn), and have now been fined £80 twice over.

To me it just seems like a trap. Do you think I should challenge the fines?
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post Tue, 17 Sep 2019 - 14:24
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southpaw82
post Tue, 17 Sep 2019 - 14:39
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I think that you should have posted this in the council forum rather than the criminal one.


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cp8759
post Tue, 17 Sep 2019 - 23:23
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Post a link to GSV (if up to date) or else you'll need to provide pictures.


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stamfordman
post Wed, 18 Sep 2019 - 07:31
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QUOTE (GlosAve @ Tue, 17 Sep 2019 - 15:24) *
You could then go left, down Bickenhall Street, but that's not the way you want to go,



That was the mistake - you had to go left own Bickenhall Street down to Baker Street, then right and right on York Street and back to Gloucester Place.

Or a U turn.

Problem is you can't say there was no way to avoid entering the zone when you saw the zone ahead signs at Bickenhall Street. That sign though could show the round the block route to escape without doing a u-turn. When you get to Baker Street the turn into York Street is flagged ahead as the North M1 and A41 Brent Cross/Kilburn and Swiss Cottage/St John's Wood/Marylebone.

So this sign could be seen as inadequate if still the only one there:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5212674,-0....6384!8i8192

and it looks like there should be a bigger sign there and may be your best bet. It does look inadequate especially with so much at stake and on a major system of A roads.

If they are going to allow entry within the boundary of the Marylebone Road then I think the routes to avoid the actual CC/ULEZ entry must be clearly signposted with routes.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 - 08:07
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GlosAve
post Thu, 19 Sep 2019 - 10:31
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Thanks, that sign still is the only one there. It seems so improbable that the appropriate thing to do immediately after you've just crossed the Marylebone Road is to turn left, down what is a fairly quiet street.

If I challenge this, do I pay the (reduced) fines now? Or does that take away my right to make a challenge? If I lose the challenge do I then lose my right to pay the reduced fines?

I see that it is possible to register for autopayment of congestion and ULEZ charges so clearly it would make sense for me to do that now in case of future mistakes.
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stamfordman
post Thu, 19 Sep 2019 - 10:45
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QUOTE (GlosAve @ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 - 11:31) *
Thanks, that sign still is the only one there. It seems so improbable that the appropriate thing to do immediately after you've just crossed the Marylebone Road is to turn left, down what is a fairly quiet street.

If I challenge this, do I pay the (reduced) fines now? Or does that take away my right to make a challenge? If I lose the challenge do I then lose my right to pay the reduced fines?

I see that it is possible to register for autopayment of congestion and ULEZ charges so clearly it would make sense for me to do that now in case of future mistakes.


Well Marylebone Road is the edge of the zone so in parts inside where the zone doesn't actually start until a bit further in you have to be very careful, would be my objection. But the signage is clearly very poor.

If you challenge they will reoffer the discount when they reject (as they they probably will).

No harm in registering - can only be beneficial.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 - 10:46
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GlosAve
post Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 15:05
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 - 11:45) *
QUOTE (GlosAve @ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 - 11:31) *
Thanks, that sign still is the only one there. It seems so improbable that the appropriate thing to do immediately after you've just crossed the Marylebone Road is to turn left, down what is a fairly quiet street.

If I challenge this, do I pay the (reduced) fines now? Or does that take away my right to make a challenge? If I lose the challenge do I then lose my right to pay the reduced fines?

I see that it is possible to register for autopayment of congestion and ULEZ charges so clearly it would make sense for me to do that now in case of future mistakes.


Well Marylebone Road is the edge of the zone so in parts inside where the zone doesn't actually start until a bit further in you have to be very careful, would be my objection. But the signage is clearly very poor.

If you challenge they will reoffer the discount when they reject (as they they probably will).

No harm in registering - can only be beneficial.


Thanks. I'll challenge it then. I think they are completely out of order to (a) not signpost the new road layout better and (b) charge so much in fines for what is obviously a very minor and inadvertent incursion into the zones. Any pointers to the law about how the two zones and appropriate routes to avoid them should be signposted would be much appreciated.
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GlosAve
post Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 15:24
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 - 11:45) *
If you challenge they will reoffer the discount when they reject (as they they probably will).


What's your authority for saying that? The notices simply state:

"You have 14 days beginning with the date of service of this notice to pay the discounted penalty charge of £80.00. If this is not paid by 01/10/2019 then the full penalty charge of £160 is payable. If you fail to pay the penalty charge or make representations by 15/10/2019 a Charge Certificate may be issued which would increase the amount payable to £240.00"

That seems to suggest that I should pay the £80 and ask for it back if my challenge is successful. Otherwise I'm risking having to pay £160 if my challenge fails.
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stamfordman
post Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 15:30
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No - it's almost universal forl enforcement authorities to reoffer the discount on rejection if challenge was made within discount period. If you pay that closes the case.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 15:30
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The Slithy Tove
post Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 17:45
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QUOTE (GlosAve @ Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 16:05) *
Thanks. I'll challenge it then. I think they are completely out of order to (a) not signpost the new road layout better and (b) charge so much in fines for what is obviously a very minor and inadvertent incursion into the zones.

Forget (b). It is what it is, and no amount of ranting and raving will change it.
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Incandescent
post Fri, 27 Sep 2019 - 18:26
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QUOTE (The Slithy Tove @ Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 18:45) *
QUOTE (GlosAve @ Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 16:05) *
Thanks. I'll challenge it then. I think they are completely out of order to (a) not signpost the new road layout better and (b) charge so much in fines for what is obviously a very minor and inadvertent incursion into the zones.

Forget (b). It is what it is, and no amount of ranting and raving will change it.

+1
Yes, it is a ridiculous amount but there's no point in getting worked up about it on this forum, just be careful who you vote for in future. You're on much safer ground on the signage.
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GlosAve
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 10:34
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 16:30) *
No - it's almost universal forl enforcement authorities to reoffer the discount on rejection if challenge was made within discount period. If you pay that closes the case.


Thanks. My appeals have been rejected and I have been offered 14 days again to pay the reduced rate, as you suggested I would. But I'm inclined to appeal to the adjudicator because I think this provision has not been adhered to:

The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996

18.—(1) 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;

The effect of the orders was that I had to do a U-turn or do a loop to the left and I was not given any information to this effect, so that will be the basis of my appeal.

Presumably I can still get the 50% discount for 14 days if the Adjudicator rejects my appeal?
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stamfordman
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 10:45
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QUOTE (GlosAve @ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 11:34) *
Presumably I can still get the 50% discount for 14 days if the Adjudicator rejects my appeal?


No - the tribunal appeal is at the full penalty.

I think the sineage is a good point - post what you said in your reps and their reply.
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GlosAve
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 13:23
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 11:45) *
QUOTE (GlosAve @ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 11:34) *
Presumably I can still get the 50% discount for 14 days if the Adjudicator rejects my appeal?


No - the tribunal appeal is at the full penalty.

I think the sineage is a good point - post what you said in your reps and their reply.


I am hopeful that if my appeal is refused I will only have to pay £80 each time. It seems this depends on the decision of the adjudicator, but it seems he will consider this (para 15 here http://forums.pepipoo.com/lofiversion/index.php/t128266.html). The letters of rejection were dated 11th October so I need to get my appeal in today or tomorrow to be within 14 days.

Here's what I wrote:

"The new road layout down Gloucester Place operates as a trap. Drivers travelling south down that road, intending to turn right onto the Marylebone Road discover that they are not permitted to make this right turn, but instead are required to drive straight across, south of the Marylebone Road. Having done so, there is a sign (see attachment) which shows that the Congestion charge zone starts ahead. The driver goes ahead and arrives at the junction with York Street, where he finds that he cannot turn left because it is a one-way street. He cannot go straight ahead because that will take him into the Congestion charge zone so it is natural for him to assume that he must turn right onto York Street. There are signs showing that the ULEZ begins there. However it takes concentration to turn right across the path of oncoming traffic, and so it is easy to miss those signs, having assumed naturally enough that this is the appropriate route to drive to get onto the Marylebone Road as intended.

I now understand that what a driver in this situation should do is either (a) turn LEFT onto Bickenhall Street and do a loop back onto Gloucester Place to turn left onto the Marylebone Road or (b) do a U-turn at York Street. Both are very unorthodox manoeuvres and entirely counter-intuitive. They would not occur to most drivers facing a new and unfamiliar road layout.

Given the unusual manoeuvres that are required of a driver on Gloucester Place, there should be a sign to inform him of this. But there is nothing at all. It is a trap. Given further that the distance that a driver who falls foul of this will drive through the ULEZ is only around 250m, and that the fines for it are substantial, it is of my view that the arrangement is not being used with the primary purpose of preventing pollution in the ULEZ, but rather to raise funds. It is an improper purpose and the penalty should be cancelled."

I didn't mention the provision I mentioned in my last post because I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I made the point that there should be better signage.

I'll post the notices of rejection shortly.
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GlosAve
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 13:44
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Congestion
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DancingDad
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 13:45
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I got a problem here.
There is lots of talk of signs and driver options, all of which suggest to me that the driver saw the signs and knew that they had entered the congestion zone.
I appreciate they didn't want to and lack of pre-warning whatever forced them into it but having entered the zone, knowingly, why did they not pay?
That is one option that seems to be being ignored.
But an adjudicator won't.

Sorry to be blunt but to me it is either that signs were not seen and hence inadvertently entered or deliberate evasion of payment.

If you are going to appeal based on the first it has to be clear, discussions on signs and being led into the zone can still take place but should IMO be based on retracing of steps and not infer something that you realised while making the journey.
And please bear in mind that signage at the point of entry is something TFL have been fine tuning for years, unless you can point to something specific like roadworks or temporary signage that is hidden, it will be an uphill struggle to persuade an adjudicator.
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GlosAve
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 14:13
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I don't seem to be able to upload any more than two scans here. Anyway, here's a draft of what I intend to say in appeal:

"I frequently drive south down Baker Street from Regent's Park in order to turn right down the Marylebone Road to go out of London to the west. On 6th September I found myself in the right hand lane at the top of Gloucester Place, and seeing that the road layout had been altered to allow cars to drive south down this road, I opted to go down it. But the new road layout operates as a trap. Drivers travelling south down Gloucester Place, intending to turn right onto the Marylebone Road discover at the last minute that they are not permitted to make this right turn. Instead they are required to drive straight across, south of the Marylebone Road. Having done so, there is a sign which shows that the ULEZ/Congestion charge zone starts ahead. The driver goes ahead and arrives at the junction with York Street, where he finds that he cannot turn left because it is a one-way street. He cannot go straight ahead because that will take him into the Congestion charge zone so it is natural for him to assume that he must turn right onto York Street. There are signs showing that the ULEZ/Congestion Zone begins there. However it is easy to miss them (as I did) because in turning right across the path of oncoming traffic, a driver is concentrating more on that oncoming traffic.

I now understand that what a driver in this situation should do is either (a) turn LEFT earlier onto Bickenhall Street and do a loop back onto Gloucester Place to turn left onto the Marylebone Road or (b) do a U-turn at York Street. Both are very unorthodox manoeuvres and entirely counter-intuitive. They would not occur to most drivers facing a new and unfamiliar road layout.

Given the unusual manoeuvres that are required of a driver on Gloucester Place, there should be a sign to inform him of this. But there is nothing at all. I raised this in my appeal and Transport for London claimed that the road signs in place comply with ss. 64 and 65 of the Road Traffic Act 1984 [and Statutory Instrument 3113). Whether or not this is the case I do not know. But more importantly the signs must be in accordance with s.18 The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 (LATOR). This states:

'18.—(1) 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;'

The combined effect of the prohibition on turning right into Marylebone Road and the [Congestion Charge/ULEZ] is that a driver wishing to turn right must, as I have said, either do a U-turn or do a loop around Bickenhall and Baker Streets. Any reasonable authority should consider it requisite to place signage to secure that adequate information about the effect of those orders and the manoeuvres that are necessary to comply with thm is made available to drivers. What a driver has to do is so unintuitive that he needs to be informed of it. Transport for London has failed to furnish any signed information whatsoever about this. Accordingly I consider this penalty charge not to be payable as s.18 of LATOR has not been complied with."

Any comments welcome.
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cp8759
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 18:30
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The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 says at regulations 3 & 4

Interpretation
3.
—(1) In these Regulations—

“the 1984 Act” means the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984;

...

Application of Regulations
4
.—(1) This Part and Parts II, III and IV of these Regulations apply to orders made or proposed to be made by a local authority under section 1, 6, 9, 19, 29, 32, 35, 37, 38, 45, 46, 49, 61, 83(2) or 84 of the 1984 Act and this Part and Part V apply to notices given or proposed to be given under section 35C or 46A of that Act.

(2) Except as provided by regulation 14(2)(a), these Regulations apply to orders made or proposed to be made pursuant to a direction by the Secretary of State under Part I of Schedule 9 to the 1984 Act as they apply to orders not so made.


The Congestion charge order here http://content.tfl.gov.uk/consolidated-con...cheme-order.pdf is made under sections 295 and 420(1) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, so I don't see how LATOR even applies.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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GlosAve
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 18:45
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 19:30) *
The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 says at regulations 3 & 4

Interpretation
3.
—(1) In these Regulations—

“the 1984 Act” means the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984;

...

Application of Regulations
4
.—(1) This Part and Parts II, III and IV of these Regulations apply to orders made or proposed to be made by a local authority under section 1, 6, 9, 19, 29, 32, 35, 37, 38, 45, 46, 49, 61, 83(2) or 84 of the 1984 Act and this Part and Part V apply to notices given or proposed to be given under section 35C or 46A of that Act.

(2) Except as provided by regulation 14(2)(a), these Regulations apply to orders made or proposed to be made pursuant to a direction by the Secretary of State under Part I of Schedule 9 to the 1984 Act as they apply to orders not so made.


The Congestion charge order here http://content.tfl.gov.uk/consolidated-con...cheme-order.pdf is made under sections 295 and 420(1) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, so I don't see how LATOR even applies.


I'm just going on what cp8759 says here
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cp8759
post Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 19:05
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QUOTE (GlosAve @ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 - 19:45) *
I'm just going on what cp8759 says here

Unfortunately it has since been pointed out (by hcandersen, credit where credit is due) that LATOR doesn't apply to orders made under the Greater London Authority Act 1999, for the reason pointed out above.


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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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