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MrW
Received PCN today from Reading Council for an alleged bus lane violation near Reading Station in Trooper Potts Way South - East section @ 9pm last week.

No doubt that I was in the section - been a few years since I last drove in Reading and with the station redevelopment I got a bit confused when picking up my wife, kids kicking off etc. I should have continued a few yards onto the West section of the street rather than follow the road round however at night it was easy to mistake. Did not realise I was in a bus lane at the time.





Google Street View link (daytime) from the junction - left to West side which I should have gone and right along bus lane which is East section -
https://goo.gl/maps/Qor5uxm2C632

Street View link for the other end of the bus lane - https://goo.gl/maps/AeF7QTLHK972 - shows "BUS GATE" twice which is unaltered (except shown at a distance so blurry and 180 degrees) in the image from Reading Council.

Image from Reading Council



I have not included the video or the other images as there is no doubt that I was in that section.

Whilst I have had some success over the years thanks to the support offered on Pepipoo I can only see one possible issue with this PCN. The road markings (on Street View) show "BUS GATE" rather than "BUS LANE". Not sure if this issue has been successful in the past - some discussions that it needs to be "BUS LANE" but no decisions seen. I am reliant on Street View for this - I'm not wasting £10 on petrol to visit Reading and check - unless anyone else knows? The images provided by Reading Council seem to show "BUS GATE" at the other end and are located in the same positions as the Street View images of Jun 2017 so could still be showing as "BUS GATE" today. They are a little blurry so not definitive.

The TRO relating to this area is here - looks correct AFAIK - http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/1727/Borou..._Order_2013.pdf - a later order changes the street name to the one shown on the PCN.

It is just £30 so would rather take a hit of that number now if the opinion is either no chance or divided.

Thanks in advance. wacko.gif



cp8759
See what others say, but there's several flaws in the PCN which make it invalid.
MrW
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 - 17:05) *
See what others say, but there's several flaws in the PCN which make it invalid.


Thanks - are you willing to outline these in brief please ?
PASTMYBEST
read this case, it centres on the most glaring error the council state they WILL do something when the regs only allow that they may

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AtBHPhdJdppViUHOo8UD5RB8xkJ1
cp8759
You've got three obvious and glaring errors.

1) The PCN says they "will" serve a charge certificate, however according to the regulations the PCN should say that the council "may" increase the penalty and serve a charge certificate. This alone will win at adjudication.
2) The 14 day period is wrong, it should be "the period of 14 days beginning with the date of service of the notice" (so the date of service is day 1), by saying "within 14 days" they have made the date of service day 0, effectively adding one day. As the regulations say the PCN should describe the 14 day period as "the period of 14 days beginning with the date of service of the notice", the correct information is missing from the PCN so the PCN is invalid. This alone will win at adjudication.
3) The PCN says you must pay or challenge 28 days from the date of service. This is wrong, it should say that you must pay or challenge before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the PCN. This alone will win at adjudication.

There are countless cases that you can refer to, if you have a look on http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=90145 there's a section dedicated to "Will/may cases" and there are some more recent ones if you read through that thread. Draft an appeal and post it on here before sending it to the council.
MrW
Thank you for all the detailed responses.

I am just drafting an appeal however before I spend too much time doing so I need to understand what - in terms of Reading BC - the likely process is going to be. Apologies if this has been articulated elsewhere, however, I could not find any reference.

My key consideration is time I am more than willing to spend 30 mins drafting up an appeal however if I then have to spend time travelling to and attending an appeals hearing in person (and respond to points made by the Appellant) then that is not a good use of my time. Despite my case, it may be more cost-effective to pay £30 - "my money, my choice".

I have no desire to attract "your money, your choice" responses, however, I would like to understand if Reading BC PCN appeals will usually require a trip to Reading for a hearing.

Thanks in anticipation.
Neil B
QUOTE (MrW @ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 - 14:52) *
My key consideration is time I am more than willing to spend 30 mins drafting up an appeal however if I then have to spend time travelling to and attending an appeals hearing in person (and respond to points made by the Appellant) then that is not a good use of my time. Despite my case, it may be more cost-effective to pay £30 - "my money, my choice".

I have no desire to attract "your money, your choice" responses, however, I would like to understand if Reading BC PCN appeals will usually take up > 2 hours of my time or usually require a trip to Reading for a hearing.

This precisely why Reading are allowed to continue issuing total rubbish, unlawful paperwork.
We've never found anyone willing or with enough interest or savvy to see it through.

Also why I didn't bother responding before you stated your position; so you've helped in that way at least.
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (MrW @ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 - 14:52) *
Thank you for all the detailed responses.

I am just drafting an appeal however before I spend too much time doing so I need to understand what - in terms of Reading BC - the likely process is going to be. Apologies if this has been articulated elsewhere, however, I could not find any reference.

My key consideration is time I am more than willing to spend 30 mins drafting up an appeal however if I then have to spend time travelling to and attending an appeals hearing in person (and respond to points made by the Appellant) then that is not a good use of my time. Despite my case, it may be more cost-effective to pay £30 - "my money, my choice".

I have no desire to attract "your money, your choice" responses, however, I would like to understand if Reading BC PCN appeals will usually require a trip to Reading for a hearing.

Thanks in anticipation.


You make representations to reading. Truth is the most likely outcome will be a rejection. You then have the option of an appeal to the independent adjudicator, Not a forgone conclusion, but you have a reasonable shot. Trouble is this is at the £60 penalty.

You do not have to appear, a hearing can be held by phone or on the papers
cp8759
QUOTE (MrW @ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 - 14:52) *
My key consideration is time I am more than willing to spend 30 mins drafting up an appeal however if I then have to spend time travelling to and attending an appeals hearing in person (and respond to points made by the Appellant) then that is not a good use of my time. Despite my case, it may be more cost-effective to pay £30 - "my money, my choice".

There is no hearing unless you specifically request one (The tribunal now seems to discourage hearings anyway). Reading will likely reject your appeal, but you just send exactly the same appeal to the tribunal and you will very likely win. Even if (for whatever reason) you really wanted to have a hearing, you can do that over the phone, or even if you really want a hearing in person (which I gather you don't), the tribunal would schedule it at a location near your address (Providing you live in England and Wales).

As you're taking issue with the paperwork there would be no point in asking for a hearing anyway, I would recommend you ask for this case to be decided on the papers.
MrW
Thank you for the very useful replies - so in summary :

1) Decide whether to contest - if no then pay £30 and carry on with life (until the next time parking charge / PCN / NIP)
2) If yes then send in an appeal to Reading BC (after getting the good people of Pepipoo to render their opinion)
3) Get rejection letter
4) Send same grounds to Adjudicator
5) Win at adjudicator (well nothing is certain in life, medicine and law but I can see my case is strong) - worst case is £60 loss presumably ?
6) Don't pay £60 and continue with life.

Is that a reasonable summary of my options ?

Well it is lucky I am currently recovering from surgery with time on my hands ! Will check with SWMBO about risk of £60 vs £30. ohmy.gif

cp8759
QUOTE (MrW @ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 - 22:43) *
Thank you for the very useful replies - so in summary :

1) Decide whether to contest - if no then pay £30 and carry on with life (until the next time parking charge / PCN / NIP)
2) If yes then send in an appeal to Reading BC (after getting the good people of Pepipoo to render their opinion)
3) Get rejection letter
4) Send same grounds to Adjudicator
5) Win at adjudicator (well nothing is certain in life, medicine and law but I can see my case is strong) - worst case is £60 loss presumably ?
6) Don't pay £60 and continue with life.

Is that a reasonable summary of my options ?

Well it is lucky I am currently recovering from surgery with time on my hands ! Will check with SWMBO about risk of £60 vs £30. ohmy.gif

It is a reasonable summary, although before before step 4 you might want to get us to beef up your grounds a bit, if nothing else because there's a reasonable chance the council will mess up the notice of rejection, which would give you additional grounds of appeal.
MrW
cp8789 - Great - just for the record as I'm not sure my intent has been understood I am doing this vs paying £30 online to settle (which would be quick / logical) :

1) Poor quality administration by public bodies annoys me (an understatement) - £60 is not the issue - lazy, illegal, "auto-justice" is - my motivation is high to use this as an avenue to pursue a suitable culprit (this is NOT just about this case, "justice for me" or "a fair hearing"). Skewering poor quality local government is definitely my "bag".
2) I am taking a career break from my professional work at the moment so can commit a few hours to this - I am not looking to commit anything more than that as I do have a number of business opportunities (and children) that need my time. As I live within 30 mins drive of Reading it is not an issue just looking to square this with my available time.
3) Helping build Pepipoo is a fringe benefit - the lovely people on here have helped over the years with a NIP and a couple of PCNs.

Draft coming soon
MrW
My draft (redacted) representations below for your review.

Note from previous discussions I have not included the 14 day reference as the date of service was defined - apparently correctly - in a prior paragraph. Views appreciated.

I have also added a final point regarding the relevant road being marked as "BUS GATE" and not as a "BUS LANE". I am not 100% sure the road markings are still there but a Google Maps image from last year shows them as a bus gate. If anyone is in Reading then your update would be appreciated - just turn left rather than right to avoid a PCN !

Look forward to your suggestions. I want to get this off via their website in the next day or so.

***********************

Re Penalty Charge Notice : XXXXXXXXX

Dear Sir,
This letter constitutes my representations regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and forms sufficient reason to set aside the PCN as the alleged contravention did not occur.

My representations are set out below :

1) The PCN states that “You must pay the Penalty Charge or make representations to the Council 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This amounts to a procedural impropriety as the relevant legislation - The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 Regulation 21(2) states that a PCN must be paid or challenged before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the PCN. The wording implies that payment and/or representations must be made on Day 28.

2) The PCN states under “PAYMENT:” that the Penalty Charge “…must be paid 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This amounts to a procedural impropriety as the relevant legislation - The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 Regulation 21(2) - states that a PCN must be paid or challenged before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the PCN. The wording implies that payment and/or representations must be made on Day 28.

3) The PCN states that if either payment or representation are not made “… WITHIN 28 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE, THE COUNCIL WILL SERVE A CHARGE CERTIFICATE INCREASING THE PENALTY …”. This amounts to a procedural impropriety as the relevant legislation - The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 Regulation 21(1) - states that a PCN should state that the Council “may” increase the penalty and serve a Charge Certificate.

4) The contravention referred to “being in a bus lane as defined in s.144 (5) of the Transport Act 2000. Whilst the relevant TRO for this location – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015 Schedule 3 – defines Trooper Potts Way East Section as a Bus Only Street the street road marking does not comply with the Department for Transport (DFT) regulations on such locations. According to the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 5 section 17.18 “Where streets are reserved for the use of buses only, or buses and trams, or buses and cycles, the entry should be marked with diagram 1048.3 BUS ONLY, 1048.2 TRAM & BUS ONLY or 1048.4 BUS AND (cycle symbol) ONLY as appropriate”. Similarly, section 17.19 referring to Bus Gates states that “…The entrance to a bus gate should be marked in the same manner as a bus-only street.” Regardless of other signage, the current road markings state “BUS GATE” and therefore this does not constitute a valid road marking and the relevant highway is not a lawful bus lane. If it is not a lawfully signed bus lane then no PCN should be issued.
I look forward to your notice of cancellation.

Regards, XXXXXXXXXX
MrW
Bump
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (MrW @ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 - 09:30) *
Bump


Wrong regs quoted should be The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005


Also try to start with the contravention, a bit about how you missed the signs because they are wrong/inadequate.

There is no ground of PI in the bus lane regs so you are technically making a collateral challenge that they fail to comply with regs. No real matter at this stage but at adjudication will need to shut that door
MrW
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 - 12:12) *
QUOTE (MrW @ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 - 09:30) *
Bump


Wrong regs quoted should be The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005


Also try to start with the contravention, a bit about how you missed the signs because they are wrong/inadequate.

There is no ground of PI in the bus lane regs so you are technically making a collateral challenge that they fail to comply with regs. No real matter at this stage but at adjudication will need to shut that door


Thank you for responding.

I will add some initial verbiage on missing the signs. Thank you for mentioning as the contravention was inadvertent given poor signage and lighting - at night it was 2 identical lanes after just turning a tight corner ! Although not relevant to the case (and not to be mentioned in the representations) the addition of a "new to me" road layout, arguing children and being late to pick up my wife did not assist my driving judgement !

With respect to your final point, I shall duly slap my forehead in shame - the relevant legislation is in bright red letters at the top of the PCN ! I have never doubted the value of experienced legal counsel in my professional work and continue to be awed at the value added on Pepipoo - thank you ! I will make the required tweaks after looking at these regulations.



MrW
Updated representations taking into account points raised by PASTMYBEST - I suspect the first point may need some polishing.

**********************

Dear Sir,

This letter constitutes my representations regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and forms sufficient reason to set aside the PCN as the alleged contravention did not occur.

My representations are set out below :

1) By way of mitigation the alleged transit across the eastern section of Trooper Potts Way is not disputed. However, there was no intent to cross a bus lane – it occurred due to the poor street lighting obscuring the blue signs, no “BUS LANE” markings on the road and a road design such that the natural curve is round into the disputed section. A driver has to turn left then right to transit into the western section. Late at night with no bus use (as shown in the images provided by the Council) it would seem that poor lighting and road design caused me to inadvertently drive through this section.

2) The PCN states that “You must pay the Penalty Charge or make representations to the Council 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This does not accord with the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(e) states that “that the penalty charge must be paid before the end of the 28 day period”. The PCN wording implies that payment and / or representations must be made on Day 28 and this fails to comply with these regulations.

3) The PCN states under “PAYMENT:” that the Penalty Charge “…must be paid 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This does not accord to the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(e) - states that “that the penalty charge must be paid before the end of the 28 day period”. The PCN wording implies that payment and / or representations must be made on Day 28 and this fails to comply with these regulations.

4) The PCN states that if either payment or representation are not made “… WITHIN 28 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE, THE COUNCIL WILL SERVE A CHARGE CERTIFICATE INCREASING THE PENALTY …”. This does not accord to the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(k) - states “that if at the end of the 28 day period — (i) no representations have been made; and (ii) the penalty charge has not been paid, the authority may increase the penalty charge by a half and take steps to enforce payment of the charge as so increased;”. The PCN wording says that the Council “will” increase the penalty. This does not comply with regulations as the regulations do not require the Council to increase the penalty.

5) [Possible extra – not sure if lack of signage on the road is valid objection and I haven’t gone back to check if it has changed since last year] The contravention referred to “being in a bus lane as defined in s.144 (5) of the Transport Act 2000.
Whilst the relevant TRO for this location – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015 Schedule 3 – defines Trooper Potts Way East Section as a Bus Only Street the street road marking does not comply with the Department for Transport (DFT) regulations on such locations. According to the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 5 section 17.18 “Where streets are reserved for the use of buses only, or buses and trams, or buses and cycles, the entry should be marked with diagram 1048.3 BUS ONLY, 1048.2 TRAM & BUS ONLY or 1048.4 BUS AND (cycle symbol) ONLY as appropriate”. Similarly section 17.19 referring to Bus Gates states that “…The entrance to a bus gate should be marked in the same manner as a bus-only street.” Regardless of other signage the current road markings state “BUS GATE” and therefore this does not constitute a valid road marking and the relevant highway is not a lawful bus lane. If it is not a lawfully signed bus lane then no PCN should be issued.

I look forward to your notice of cancellation.
PASTMYBEST
I would take out the first sentence of 1. Do not mention mitigation, this is a province only for the council(and they don't know what it means) an adjudicator cannot find on it.

The contravention did not occur. LATOR 1996 reg 18 requires adequate signs be in place before a TMO can come into force. Absent adequate signs no contravention, so just stick to that

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/24...ulation/18/made
John U.K.
PMB

Could he not reword the first point to read

1) By way of mitigation the alleged transit across the eastern section of Trooper Potts Way is not disputed. The alleged transit across the eastern section of Trooper Potts Way is not disputed however the signage is inadequate to convey the restriction in the prevailing conditions, (which are not unusual). However, t There was no intent to cross a bus lane – it occurred due to the poor street lighting obscuring the blue signs, no “BUS LANE” markings on the road and a road design such that the natural curve is round into the disputed section. A driver has to turn left then right to transit into the western section. Late at night with no bus use (as shown in the images provided by the Council) it would seem that inadequate signage, markings, poor lighting and road design caused me to inadvertently drive through this section.

I don't think "with no bus use" is of any relevance to a 24/7 restriction.
MrW
Updated first point per PMB

************

1) There was no intent to cross a bus lane – it occurred due to the poor street lighting obscuring the blue signs, no “BUS LANE” markings on the road and a road design such that the natural curve is round into the disputed section. A driver has to turn left then right to transit into the western section. Late at night with no bus use (as shown in the images provided by the Council) it would seem that poor lighting and road design caused me to inadvertently drive through this section. The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 s.1 requires an Authority to place adequate signage before a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is in place as well as to maintain it adequately. The relevant TRO for this location is – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015.
John U.K.
MR W

Our posts crossed - see what PMB says before submitting but I see
the signage is inadequate to convey the restriction in the prevailing conditions
as the key phrase to include.
MrW
Added John UK phrasing - not sure if it reads well with the prevailing conditions point followed by LATO point.

*******

1) There was no intent to cross a bus lane –it is my view that the signage is inadequate to convey the restriction in the prevailing conditions. These conditions were ; poor street lighting at night obscuring the blue signs, no “BUS LANE” markings on the road and a road design such that the natural curve is round into the disputed section. A driver has to turn left then right to transit into the western section. - late at night with no bus use (as shown in the images provided by the Council) and poor lighting the natural instinct is to steer round such a corner. In addition, the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 s.1 requires an Authority to place adequate signage before a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is in place as well as to maintain it adequately.. The relevant TRO for this location is – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015.
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (MrW @ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 - 16:08) *
Added John UK phrasing - not sure if it reads well with the prevailing conditions point followed by LATO point.

*******

1) There was no intent to cross a bus lane –it is my view that the signage is inadequate to convey the restriction in the prevailing conditions. These conditions were ; poor street lighting at night obscuring the blue signs, no “BUS LANE” markings on the road and a road design such that the natural curve is round into the disputed section. A driver has to turn left then right to transit into the western section. - late at night with no bus use (as shown in the images provided by the Council) and poor lighting the natural instinct is to steer round such a corner. In addition, the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 s.1 requires an Authority to place adequate signage before a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is in place as well as to maintain it adequately.. The relevant TRO for this location is – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015.


Take out the red. to easy for them just to say we think it is. Make it an assertion and let them rebut it.

Then perhaps stick it in it gets all the points across so any appeal will be consistent even if re drafted. No doubt any rejection will throw up errors that will need dealing with
MrW
OK - final version to be sent electronically tomorrow - any issues?

********************

Re Penalty Charge Notice : XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Dear Sir,

This letter constitutes my representations regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and forms sufficient reason to set aside the PCN as the alleged contravention did not occur.

My representations are set out below :

1) There was no intent to cross a bus lane – the signage is inadequate to convey the restriction in the prevailing conditions. These conditions were ; poor street lighting at night obscuring the blue signs, no “BUS LANE” markings on the road and a road design such that the natural curve is round into the disputed section. A driver has to turn left then right to transit into the western section. - late at night with no bus use (as shown in the images provided by the Council) and poor lighting the natural instinct is to steer round such a corner. In addition, the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 s.1 requires an Authority to place adequate signage before a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is in place as well as to maintain it adequately. The relevant TRO for this location is – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015.

2) The PCN states that “You must pay the Penalty Charge or make representations to the Council 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This does not accord with the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(e) states that “that the penalty charge must be paid before the end of the 28 day period”. The PCN wording implies that payment and / or representations must be made on Day 28 and this fails to comply with these regulations.

3) The PCN states under “PAYMENT:” that the Penalty Charge “…must be paid 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This does not accord to the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(e) - states that “that the penalty charge must be paid before the end of the 28 day period”. The PCN wording implies that payment and / or representations must be made on Day 28 and this fails to comply with these regulations.

4) The PCN states that if either payment or representation are not made “… WITHIN 28 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE, THE COUNCIL WILL SERVE A CHARGE CERTIFICATE INCREASING THE PENALTY …”. This does not accord to the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(k) - states “that if at the end of the 28 day period — (i) no representations have been made; and (ii) the penalty charge has not been paid, the authority may increase the penalty charge by a half and take steps to enforce payment of the charge as so increased;”. The PCN wording says that the Council “will” increase the penalty. This does not comply with regulations as the regulations do not require the Council to increase the penalty.

5) The contravention referred to “being in a bus lane as defined in s.144 (5) of the Transport Act 2000. Whilst the relevant TRO for this location – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015 Schedule 3 – defines Trooper Potts Way East Section as a Bus Only Street the street road marking does not comply with the Department for Transport (DFT) regulations on such locations. According to the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 5 section 17.18 “Where streets are reserved for the use of buses only, or buses and trams, or buses and cycles, the entry should be marked with diagram 1048.3 BUS ONLY, 1048.2 TRAM & BUS ONLY or 1048.4 BUS AND (cycle symbol) ONLY as appropriate”. Similarly section 17.19 referring to Bus Gates states that “…The entrance to a bus gate should be marked in the same manner as a bus-only street.” Regardless of other signage the current road markings state “BUS GATE” and therefore this does not constitute a valid road marking and the relevant highway is not a lawful bus lane. If it is not a lawfully signed bus lane then no PCN should be issued.

I look forward to your notice of cancellation.

Regards,

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
PASTMYBEST
Seems fine to me
cp8759
Looks good to me too.
MrW
Submitted reps today - screen shots taken as well.

Watch this space !
Mad Mick V
I have commented on various Reading bus lane/gate cases----Fosbury, Kennet Island etc and pushed the will/may issue. The Council however have always resisted this ground.

Indeed, for some reason, adjudicators fail to grasp the concept of a PI with a bus lane case and have rejected appeals. One case was refused a Review by Stephen Knapp one of the principal adjudicators on the following submission:-

"With respect, I would ask that the Traffic Penalty Tribunal review its decision on case RG85 I believe this review is necessary in the interests of justice and because there have been errors of fact and law.

That a procedural impropriety has occurred and the PCN is non-compliant is unarguable .

My appeal was underpinned by a collateral challenge that a procedural impropriety had occurred and that the Penalty Charge Notice was not in compliance with the Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005.

The Adjudicator was wrong in law and fact to dismiss this by ruling the PCN was substantially compliant. Likewise the Authority in its additional evidence to TPT dated 6 July, wherein it says the penalty charge notice is substantially compliant, is also in error.

The legislation does not impose a mandatory obligation on the Authority to serve a Charge Certificate where the Penalty Charge Notice remains unpaid and an appeal is not submitted,

The use of the wording in the Act is mandatory and not optional. This means that the Penalty Charge Notice does not comply with the requirements of Reg.8 (k) of the Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 so that there has been a procedural impropriety. The words "will serve a Charge Certificate" convey an entirely different meaning to the motorist than the use of the words "may increase the penalty charge".

With respect, I would draw the Adjudicators attention to in R (Hackney Drivers’ Association Ltd) v The Parking Adjudicator [2012] EWNC3394 , a precedent case on substantial compliance, in which HH Judge Raynor remarked that the only issue for his determination was whether the penalty charge notice was compliant with the requirements of the regulation. Therefore the Authority and the Adjudicator were wrong in fact and law to rule that the PCN was substantially compliant because the instructions on the document were not the information which the regulations, read as a whole, required to be conveyed.

Neither can the fact that the Authority used the correct term “may” in later documents absolve it of a procedural impropriety in the first and prime document (the PCN) since this is an absolute error and a procedural impropriety has occurred and been proved..

The clear conclusion is that the Authority failed in the exercise of it’s duty insofar as it has failed to distinguish between "mandatory" and "discretionary" requirements. A breach of statutory requirements must lead to the Decision being set aside for procedural impropriety."
-----------------

It seems obvious that this appeal ground has to be rethought into something like unfairness leading to prejudice so we come at it from another direction.

I still contend that the Council's position on this is ultra vires but thought I would flag up some history so the OP is aware of the difficulties with a "technical" appeal.

Mick



cp8759
If this goes to the tribunal, let's not forget that they've stated the discounted amount will be accepted if paid "within" 14 days, which is 1 day more than provided for in the regulations.
Mad Mick V
All an adjudicator has to do is explain that there was no prejudice in giving someone an extra day to pay.

Mick
cp8759
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 - 00:34) *
All an adjudicator has to do is explain that there was no prejudice in giving someone an extra day to pay.

Mick

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2006/2357.html paragraph 41.
Neil B
QUOTE (MrW @ Thu, 29 Mar 2018 - 17:36) *
Watch this space !

MrW.
If I came across as a little rude in my only previous post, I apologise.
It wasn't directed at you; rather a frustration at having watched so many fail to beat this most stubborn
of Councils.
Quite how they've been able to use a sentence that, in English, doesn't describe a period at all, is quite incredible.
It comes across as very much 'because we can' and I suspect they find it funny. In the time we've been following
they must have reordered pre-printed stocks repeatedly.

Mick has summed up what has been happening, with similar frustration.

QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Fri, 30 Mar 2018 - 23:34) *
All an adjudicator has to do is explain that there was no prejudice in giving someone an extra day to pay.

Mick

I also applies to all the mentions of 28 I think --- and I can climb out of the box a bit with a possible retort.
Tomorrow when me thinking 'ead gets back from the dry cleaners.
Mad Mick V
Different Act and before the days of substantial compliance.

Have a go with it if you wish but I doubt you will swing it on that ground alone.


Mick
cp8759
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 - 01:14) *
Different Act and before the days of substantial compliance.

Have a go with it if you wish but I doubt you will swing it on that ground alone.


Mick

The substantive provisions of the 2000 Act are the same, either the statutory conditions for liability are met, or they are not. Substantial compliance is really about signs and it is still a requirement that the PCN convey the meaning required by the regulations, or else all cases that have been won on the "within" ground or on the "will/may" ground are now useless. We've had bus lane cases won not that long ago where the PCN allowed a discount period of 21 days rather than the statutory 14, which not only isn't prejudicial but is actually in the motorists's favour. If you add up all the flaws in this PCN, it seems unlikely an adjudicator would accept it is compliant. I'm sure Reading will take this to the tribunal, so I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Mad Mick V
I wish I still had your faith in the system and that adjudicators should act in accordance with the exact meaning of the legislation.

Let's see how this one pans out since this Council is particularly obdurate.

Mick

PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 - 10:30) *
I wish I still had your faith in the system and that adjudicators should act in accordance with the exact meaning of the legislation.

Let's see how this one pans out since this Council is particularly obdurate.

Mick


I know how Mick feels, I felt devastated when utterlyfab lost, but the arguments are sound and should be made. May thinking is quote the high court as much as possible and with the will may, I am going to did out not only the half dozen i use as an example in London cases but every one I have, is in hippos thread
and look to an unfair discrepancy in how this is dealt with by the different arm of the same judicial body
DancingDad
The bit that really gets me with Reading PCNs is the opening sentence.
You must make payment or challenge 28 days from the date of service......

Which in plain English means that you can only pay or challenge on day 29.

And has been brushed aside by adjudicators previously with terms like substantial compliance and when read as a whole being cited.
cp8759
Read as a whole, the PCN is a pile of poop
Mad Mick V
I've ordered the popcorn cool.gif

I think a medal should be awarded to the brave adjudicator who rules that the PCN is a nullity because of its wording----thereby signalling that each and every Reading Bus Lane PCN for the last 5 or 6 years has been illegal and the Council has to repay millions. No pressure then!!

But, in all seriousness, I would add a bit more to the will/may issue because the discretionary element being removed must be prejudicial and the statement on the PCN presages an unlawful demand for money.

I am with you guys, regardless of my reservations, just feel a JR is the only way to sort out this Council.

Mick
cp8759
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 - 14:50) *
I think a medal should be awarded to the brave adjudicator who rules that the PCN is a nullity because of its wording----thereby signalling that each and every Reading Bus Lane PCN for the last 5 or 6 years has been illegal and the Council has to repay millions. No pressure then!!

Well the adjudicator cannot give any weight to the fact that millions of other PCNs issued with the same template are unlawful, that would be an irrelevant consideration smile.gif

QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 - 14:50) *
I am with you guys, regardless of my reservations, just feel a JR is the only way to sort out this Council.

If it comes to it, I'm more than happy to help draft the pre-action letter and the claim form.
DancingDad
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 - 14:50) *
.......... just feel a JR is the only way to sort out this Council.

Mick


That's my feeling.
Even if an adjudicator ruled against the wording, Reading would likely shrug and ignore, plenty more will pay.
It will take a number of rulings at TPT before Reading takes any notice, then they will either change or go for a JR themselves.
Cannot suggest that a PCN recipient does unless they have a few grand going spare.

Overall, TPT does not have a good record on decisions re PCN wording, they seem always to give the benefit to the PCN.
It's only on solid items such as out of time (Manchester) that they will find on.
On the other hand, they will take things like Failing to Consider seriously and often go out of their way to find in favour where there may be a sympathy vote in play.

Mad Mick V
Just seen a successful appeal but which fell on stony ground as regards the PCN wording:--

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...t&p=1357235

This is the type of fudge which really annoys me (para 7 of the Decision).

Mick
Neil B
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Fri, 6 Apr 2018 - 15:36) *
Just seen a successful appeal but which fell on stony ground as regards the PCN wording:--

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...t&p=1357235

This is the type of fudge which really annoys me (para 7 of the Decision).

Mick

"The drafting as to the timing of the various actions that are to be taken is not prejudicial to the motorist, in fact if anything it benefits him or her."

Is wrong for the reasons I entered into a recent appeal: I think Tommy12345 ?
The actual actions of the Council, i.e. whether they stand by, in practice, their promises at odds with legislation, is never examined.
My words, at such a hearing in person, would be -- 'how do you know that Sir?'.

and if you want proof it either must be examined or otherwise ruled invalid >

- Llanthony bridge case were history log revealed discount removed a day early,

- a Lmbeth mtc, on forum, were promised discount (21 service vs 14 notice) withdrawn on about day 17.

- + probably numerous others where history logs are not seen or appellants submit challenges before we can check.


AND if an adjudicator was to ask a Council to prove no prejudice in practice, no response can be relied up since Councils
don't know their ar se from elbow and, among adjudicators, it is routinely accepted that is the case and 'ok'.
So no proper, in-depth examination of progression is considered necessary or even warranted.

---

Oh, sorry, did I rant?! rolleyes.gif
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (Neil B @ Fri, 6 Apr 2018 - 16:58) *
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Fri, 6 Apr 2018 - 15:36) *
Just seen a successful appeal but which fell on stony ground as regards the PCN wording:--

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...t&p=1357235

This is the type of fudge which really annoys me (para 7 of the Decision).

Mick

"The drafting as to the timing of the various actions that are to be taken is not prejudicial to the motorist, in fact if anything it benefits him or her."

Is wrong for the reasons I entered into a recent appeal: I think Tommy12345 ?
The actual actions of the Council, i.e. whether they stand by, in practice, their promises at odds with legislation, is never examined.
My words, at such a hearing in person, would be -- 'how do you know that Sir?'.

and if you want proof it either must be examined or otherwise ruled invalid >

- Llanthony bridge case were history log revealed discount removed a day early,

- a Lmbeth mtc, on forum, were promised discount (21 service vs 14 notice) withdrawn on about day 17.

- + probably numerous others where history logs are not seen or appellants submit challenges before we can check.


AND if an adjudicator was to ask a Council to prove no prejudice in practice, no response can be relied up since Councils
don't know their ar se from elbow and, among adjudicators, it is routinely accepted that is the case and 'ok'.
So no proper, in-depth examination of progression is considered necessary or even warranted.

---

Oh, sorry, did I rant?! rolleyes.gif


Only if Jackson did in the Barnet case. He said the same
MrW
Well hasn't my thread been active since I sent my representations!

Thank you all for the comments - as expected I have now received a rejection.

I'll let you have a look at the arguments deployed by Reading and form your own judgements on their strength rolleyes.gif

Would also appreciate any assistance you can offer in building a TPT appeal. However, I do appreciate that my particular PCN may not be one to bring down the current Reading PCN and it may have to wait for another day.
















cp8759
Appealing to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal seems like a no brainer. Register the appeal with wording such as "grounds of appeal to follow in due course", and in the mean time post a draft of your appeal on here for comment. I think we want to spell things out nicely for the adjudicator, and add relevant adjudications to support each of the points raised, we have time to put it together.
MrW
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 7 Apr 2018 - 23:12) *
Appealing to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal seems like a no brainer. Register the appeal with wording such as "grounds of appeal to follow in due course", and in the mean time post a draft of your appeal on here for comment. I think we want to spell things out nicely for the adjudicator, and add relevant adjudications to support each of the points raised, we have time to put it together.


Thank you - so my grounds for appeal could be the same as the representations sent to Reading ?

If so I will redraft the representations but in terms of citing precedents presumably the law (as done in the reps) is a good start plus Bus Lane adjudication decisions ?



Neil B
For the moment, all I have is 'growl'.
cp8759
QUOTE (MrW @ Sat, 7 Apr 2018 - 23:42) *
Thank you - so my grounds for appeal could be the same as the representations sent to Reading ?

If so I will redraft the representations but in terms of citing precedents presumably the law (as done in the reps) is a good start plus Bus Lane adjudication decisions ?

Yes that's exactly right, if you have a search on the forum you'll find plenty of adjudicator decisions you can quote.
MrW
My current appeal draft - it has been expanded via some useful posts on Pepipoo however I don't have any TPT decisions as I can't seem to find them ! I have not used London appeals yet as I'm not sure whether they will be useful or ignored ?

**************

Dear Sir,

This letter constitutes my appeal regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and forms sufficient reason to set aside the PCN as the alleged contravention did not occur.

My reasoning is set out below :

1) There was no intent to cross a restricted road, however, late at night, with the inadequate design of signage and illumination to convey the restriction combined with an empty highway it was obvious that confusion was likely to a reasonable observer. These conditions were;

a. poor street lighting at night obscuring the blue signs,
b. no “BUS LANE” markings on the road and
c. road design such that the natural curve is round into the disputed section. A driver has to turn slightly left then right to transit into the western section. Late at night with no bus use (as shown in the images provided by the Council) and poor lighting the natural instinct is to steer around such a corner. This is especially so when unfamiliar with the junction as I was, even driving cautiously.

2) It is accepted that a PCN is not required to mirror word for word the text of the regulations, it must, however, convey when taken as a whole the correct meaning of those regulations. This PCN fails in this regard as below:

a. The PCN states that “You must pay the Penalty Charge or make representations to the Council 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This does not accord with the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(e) states that “that the penalty charge must be paid before the end of the 28 day period”. The PCN wording implies that payment and/or representations must be made on Day 28 and so this fails to comply with these regulations.

b. The PCN states under “PAYMENT:” that the Penalty Charge “…must be paid 28 days from the Date of Service of the Notice …”. This does not accord to the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(e) - states that “that the penalty charge must be paid before the end of the 28 day period”. The PCN wording implies that payment and/or representations must be made on Day 28 and so this also fails to comply with these regulations.

c. The PCN states that if either payment or representation are not made “… WITHIN 28 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE, THE COUNCIL WILL SERVE A CHARGE CERTIFICATE INCREASING THE PENALTY …”. This does not accord to the relevant legislation - The Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 Regulation 8 s.5(k) - states “that if at the end of the 28 day period — (i) no representations have been made; and (ii) the penalty charge has not been paid, the authority may increase the penalty charge by a half and take steps to enforce payment of the charge as so increased;”. The PCN wording says that the Council “will” increase the penalty. This does not comply with regulations as they do not require the Council to increase the penalty. The PCN is, therefore, not substantially compliant and the Authority has fettered its discretion by maintaining that it is when it is so obviously wrong in law and fact. The legislation does not impose a mandatory obligation on the Authority to serve a Charge Certificate where the Penalty Charge Notice remains unpaid and an appeal is not submitted. The use of the wording in the Act is mandatory and not optional. This means that the Penalty Charge Notice does not comply with the requirements of Reg.8 (k) of the Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 so that there has been a procedural impropriety. The words "will serve a Charge Certificate" convey an entirely different meaning to the motorist than the use of the words "may increase the penalty charge".

3) The contravention referred to “being in a bus lane as defined in s.144 (5) of the Transport Act 2000". Whilst the relevant TRO for this location – The Borough of Reading (Kennet Island Bus Gate) (Station Access Road) (Amendment) Order 2015 Schedule 3 – defines Trooper Potts Way East Section as a Bus Only Street the street road marking does not comply with the Department for Transport (DFT) regulations on such locations being marked "BUS GATE". According to the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 5 section 17.18 “Where streets are reserved for the use of buses only, or buses and trams, or buses and cycles, the entry should be marked with diagram 1048.3 BUS ONLY, 1048.2 TRAM & BUS ONLY or 1048.4 BUS AND (cycle symbol) ONLY as appropriate”. No other wording is permitted. Similarly, section 17.19 referring to Bus Gates states that “…The entrance to a bus gate should be marked in the same manner as a bus-only street.” Regardless of other signage, the current road markings state “BUS GATE” and therefore this does not constitute a valid road marking and the relevant highway is not a lawful bus lane. If the Authority maintains that this is a bus lane, because of inappropriate or defective lines and signs, it has failed in its duty under Reg. 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 not to confuse or mislead. If motorists cannot recognise the restriction as a bus lane they will also fail to recognise that camera enforcement is appropriate. This gives rise to prejudice and this point is further highlighted in Moss, R (on the application of) v KPMG Llp [2010] EWHC 2923 (Admin) (14 October 2010) -

"The effect of non-compliance with the requirements of the prescribed diagrams on enforcement by criminal proceedings or by PCN has been considered in a number of cases. There is one group of cases in which there was a breach of the requirement in the 1996 Local Authority Traffic Order Procedure Regulations to place signs or markings adequately so that those affected would know what was forbidden. Examples are Hassan v Director of Public Prosecutions [1992] RTR 209 and James v Caley [1967] QB 676: where there was no sign stating the day or hours when parking on a yellow line was forbidden, the information as to the prohibition indicated by that line had not been adequately conveyed. The statutory requirement in the procedure order that the prohibition be adequately signed had not been met, and the offence of breaching the prohibition could not be proved. Those cases make it clear that if a traffic sign does not adequately inform the driver as to what is forbidden or where, the penalty cannot be enforced and, in a criminal context, no offence is committed."

I look forward to your notice of cancellation.

Regards,
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