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PCN 34J Being in a bus lane, Sheffield Glossop Road, inadequate signage? dark and raining heavily
JTCity
post Wed, 4 Dec 2019 - 21:50
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Hello Folks,

Any advice on my case, I’d be most grateful.

So Sheffield council have informed me they want £30 off me for passing through a bus gate I was not aware was present via PCN hardcopy by post. See the front and back pages attached.

front of PCN

rear of PCN


At the time of the alleged use of bus lane, it was dark and raining heavily, as can be seen on the CCTV footage and photos used in the PCN.

I was not aware that bus gate 2 was in operation and do not believe I was given adequate warning of it given the journey I took.

See “Glossop road map” below to follow journey and see the SIGNS in the area. Bus Gate 1 (BG1) has been present a long time.



Journey:
I turned right out of Devonshire Street onto Fitzwilliam Street. Then left onto Glossop Road, went along until I turn left down Gell Street.

At the top of Fitzwilliam is SIGN1 (see picture)


Although this sign1 warns of a restriction, it does not indicate how soon that restriction will occur after turning left onto Glossop Road. It is also an unlit sign, making it challenging to see in the dark and pouring rain.

I turned left onto Glossop Road, there’s a short stretch of road with 2 lanes, one heading up Glossop Road and the other directing traffic right to the ring road via Regent Street.
see picture: fitzwilliamSt-left-to-glossopRd to see this short stretch of road.



Apparently, the patch of road marked BG2? on the “Glossop road map” is a bus gate.

see picture: SIGN2 shows the daylight view of this bus gate and the signs, which do have some illumination attached.


There is no special colour for the bus gate tarmac, which is also a tramline, there is a worn white paint “bus gate” on the road, not visible in the pouring rain and darkness. To the right is a traffic island, so even if I had known this to be a bus gate, I had no option to escape by once committed.

I knew there was a bus gate further along Glossop Road, after Gell Street to Hanover Way (AKA the ring road) marked BG1 on the “Glossop road map.”

In the run up to BG1, there are multiple signs warning of the bus gate BG1 ahead, see pictures: SIGN 3 and SIGN 4 just after each left side road and just after Gell Street final SIGN5, which is at the start of BG1.
see pictures:
SIGN3 warns of a 60yd distance to BG1



SIGN4 also warns of a 60yd distance to BG1



SIGN5 is at the start of BG1



There is no special colour for the BG1 bus gate tarmac, which is also a tramline, there is a worn white paint “bus gate” on the road, not visible in the pouring rain and darkness.

I rarely drive in this area, but I was aware of BG1 from previously working in the building on the corner of Gell Street, I did not proceed through BG1, I went left down Gell Street, where I waited for about 5 minutes, before driving back out of the area (Gell Street right onto Glossop Road, left onto Regent Street to go to the ring road).

As such I believed all the signs I had seen on the approach to BG1 were in relation to that bus gate only, which I did not go through.

I was not given adequate warning that BG2 was also now a bus gate, it was dark and raining heavily, and I was aiming to go to Gell Street (and not pass through BG1.)

Any advice on any part of this, please do let me know. I have about 12 days before I run out of the 14 day period to complain.

Many thanks folks!

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post Wed, 4 Dec 2019 - 21:50
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Incandescent
post Wed, 4 Dec 2019 - 22:30
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The person you will have to convince is an adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, the council will never give way, but you have to submit reps to them first and get a rejection before you can go to TPT. Frankly, I don't think your chances are very good at all. You have shown us five signs, so no complaint about inadequacy, and all signs in good order. You have to convince him that they cause confusion rather than bringing clarity to what you must do. And, if you go to TPT, it will be with the full PCN penalty in play of £60.

If you're up for it we can help with preparing your reps, but you'll have to write them yourself with us reviewing them.

In addition to the above, the PCN itself may have fatal flaws of content. No doubt somebody will point these out if there are any, but it looks kosher to me.

This post has been edited by Incandescent: Wed, 4 Dec 2019 - 22:31
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JTCity
post Wed, 4 Dec 2019 - 22:48
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Thanks for your response.

I maybe wasn't clear. The PCN relates to the bus gate 2, which I only saw 2 signs for, signs 1 and 2 so not much warning of that bus gate. I took sign 2 to be the start of the signs warning of the bus gate 1, much further up the road.

Taking signs 3, 4 and 5 to be the signs for bus gate 1, they have indications of distance to the bus gate.

So my query is, are signs 1 and 2 sufficient? There's no indication of distance on them.

I would like to prepare some reps to have a punt at challenging this PCN.

Appreciate any advice or pointers.

Thanks!
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cp8759
post Fri, 6 Dec 2019 - 19:34
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No idea why you've redacted the date and time, when did the contravention happen?

I think you'll struggle to show that these signs were inadequate: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.3800033,-...33;8i6656?hl=en

Post the video so we can have a look.


--------------------
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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JTCity
post Sun, 8 Dec 2019 - 14:06
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Hi,

I hope the video works like this. I am the car after the push bike. You can see how heavy the rain was.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZYh19lipwMk

Thanks!
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cp8759
post Sun, 8 Dec 2019 - 15:36
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From what I can see the signs were illuminated. Your only hope is that I'm wrong and the lighting is out, in which case you'd have a decent chance of getting this overturned, however to pursue this you'd need to go back and check.

I don't see you winning this solely on the basis that it was raining, if the tribunals allowed an appeal on that basis it would open the flood gates.


--------------------
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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JTCity
post Sun, 8 Dec 2019 - 16:09
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Ok, thanks for that. Always helpful to have input. I checked the lights on second signs after I got the notice, but that was 14 days later so I have no way of knowing if they were on or not on the night.

sign 1 definitely doesn't have a light.

I suppose there's no point trying to argue that I knew about the later bus gate and took the second signs to be warning of that further ahead? Or is that stretching things too far? Just wondering!


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cp8759
post Sun, 8 Dec 2019 - 16:21
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Sign 1 is an advance warning sign and is not required to be illuminated. From the video it looks like the regulatory sign (sign 2) is illuminated. My honest opinion is that you don't have a leg to stand on as far as the contravention goes.

Looking at other possible avenues, the PCN's date of issue & posting is Saturday 30 November, so the date of service must be Wednesday 4 and the 14 day discount period ends on 17 December. So, if you make an online representation on the 17th, the council has committed to re-offer the discount if it rejects, so you've lost nothing.

If on the other hand the council wrongly treats the date of service as 3 December, then the penalty demanded exceeds the amount due in the circumstances of the case if either of these two happen:

1) On 17 December, the penalty has already increased to £60 (in which case you must get a timed/dated screenshot), or
2) You make a representation on 17 December and the council rejects it and doesn't re-offer the discount.

In either case you'd have grounds to appeal to the tribunal. So, subject to the view of others, I would check the council's payment system on the evening of 17 December to see if the penalty is still at £30 and if it is, I would make a representation asking the council to exercise discretion to cancel. If it's already gone up to £60, you should make a representation on the basis that the penalty demanded exceeds the amount due in the circumstances of the case.


--------------------
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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JTCity
post Sun, 8 Dec 2019 - 16:26
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Interesting. Thanks for that. I think I need to do bit more reading!
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