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sharewatcher
My daughter recently received a fixed penalty notice (issued on the spot) for crossing a no entry sign. as she has recently passed her test (2 months ago) that will be half her licence gone.

She admits to doing this terrible deed, but anyone who knows the sign in question may understand why.

The sign is in Edinburgh (cowgate) it is a temporary sign that is only switched on at around 10pm to prevent drivers going into the cowgate, however you can circumvent this sign if you drive into the cowgate via the high street and quite legally drive along the cowgate (both directions until you come to the sign)???.

as it happens she approached the cowgate via the high st (niddry st) and turned left into the cowgate then she passed the no entry sign as she was exiting the cowgate (the no entry sign is on both sides of the same pole )

My question is --- is this sign legal

Thanks in advance
bama
photos. take plenty of 'em and post links up here. instruction on the board on how to imageshack.
sharewatcher
Thanks will do get them this weekend, couple of questions,

If we contest this in court can she get more than 3 points? (not desirable of course)

Is a LED no entry sign legal

Thanks
sharewatcher
Sorry for not replying earlier but i have had a bit of a bad month, stroke/hospital/operation/ it was a very mild one with no lasting effects.

Back on topic, I have tried to load up some photo's with little success, but I have been busy searching the TSRGD (2002) and the Traffic Signs Manual (Chapter 3) and have found a defence using 4 points of law.

I would like some comments and pointers to where I will find the actual law to back up my arguements on these two issues.

I read in the TSM (C3) 4.46 that the SoS cannot approve a "No Entry Sign" when " such approval will be given only where it is proposed to use the sign for safety reasons in circumstances where this would not prohibit an otherwise permitted movement" and I wonder what this means exactly, as she is legally allowed to drive that road between 4am and 10pm, to my mind that means a No Entry sign is not allowed.

Also I cannot find anywhere in the TSRGD a LED "No Entry" only the normal one (616) which says no variants allowed, I also found in 616 that a "No Entry" can be internally or externally lit, does it being itself made of light make it illegal ?

I also found a law that I hope is a sure fire cert to get this case thrown out I will post it after my daughters case in case the PF is reading this board smile.gif

Hope the gurus can help
The Rookie
From your first description, I'm not clear, she entered cowgate via high street, when she got to the no entry sign was she 'exiting' he no entry area or entering, if so why did she ignore the sign and carry on? Is the sign in the middle of a road such that when reaching the sign you can't turn left or right?

Simon
sharewatcher
Thanks for the reply Simon

I was wrong when I said she entered via Niddry St although you can enter it this way and then you do you come to the No entry signs while trying to exit the Cowgate (either direction) there are 2 no entry signs either end of the Cowgate (4 in total) however these are lit both sides (8 in total).

I have found out that she actually entered via the Grassmarket where you approach a mini roundabout with 2 exits , Cowgate and Candlemakers row, Candlemakers row has the normal " No Entry" signs and the Cowgate has the LED no entry sign, the only option when the sign is lit is to go all the way round the mini roundabout and back the way you came.

The reason she went through the no entry sign is because she did not recognise it as being one, she had never seen a LED no entry sign (its not in the Highway Code) for all she knew it could have been an advert for one of the clubs in the area smile.gif

edit : the mini roundabout is on quite a tight bend and when you approach you are concentrating on the roundabout and traffic coming from the right, when you are on the roundabout and checking the road ahead is clear you have about 1 second to recognise and respond to the no entry sign
The Rookie
OK it will be down to someone with better knowledge than me to decide if the LED NE sign is legal or not!

Simon
Byteman
I imagine LED signs are legal - otherwise variable speed limit signs such as those on M25 and M42 would also be invalid?
sharewatcher
QUOTE
imagine LED signs are legal - otherwise variable speed limit signs such as those on M25 and M42 would also be invalid?


That is pretty much my point byteman but at least you can find those in the TSRGD (2002) I cannot find a LED no entry sign anywhere, so is it prescribed by law?
viper
The no entry sign in your photo appears to be a normal no entry sign with overhead light. What makes you believe it is LED. If it is backlit inside the light this is not LED. Closer pictures would help but if the first picture is the road in question, the signs passed look quite clear. The sign does not appear LED to me. I can see the no right turn sign appears to be backlit but this is not LED it is simply florescent tubes behind the sign. LED signs would be like the ones on M25 variable speed limit see if I can upload a link in a bit
sharewatcher
Hi viper
The no entry signs you can see are the ones for Candlemakers Row not the Cowgate,
The photo below shows the LED sign better

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21024753@N02/2047270655/
craig51
Hello,

I live in Edinburgh, and know this area really well as I used to drive it all the time.

From my point of view, there is no quetion in the visuals of the sign, ie it very clear to all traffic. I say this as not only is there this sign, but also a sign before you get to this one detailing the times when this is operational!! Again, the actual sign itself IMO is also very clear!!!

So, I think going down the route of it not being clear could be dismissed quite easily.

So, this leaves you with the legality of the sign. To my knowlegde, the same type are used on the a90 approaching cramond brig, and also on the new signs just after the bridge on the fife side. BUT, this doesnt make these legal. Not sue how you would find out though!.

Hope this helps a wee bit. For the rest of you, this, IMO, stupid sign was errected to help the steaming drunk people get out the clubs without being knocked over.Its a PITA!!!
sharewatcher
Thanks Craig
I did not know about the warning signs before you reach the no entry sign, I agree the sign is pretty clear, the point I was trying to make is when you first see it you say to yourself "what the hell is that?" and it takes a few seconds to realise what it is.

I don't drive much in town at night and I first saw this sign about six months ago coming from the park side (can't remember seeing any warning signs from that end, but perhaps i missed them ) and I know that that was my reaction,and I have been driving 30 yrs, but from the park side you can see it for about 50 metres before you pass it, from the Grassmarket side it is far more confusing, you have the sign showing left for Galashiels,the bend, the mini roundabout, the no entry signs to Candlemakers Row, all very confusing especially for a new driver.
craig51
Agreed, but thats Edinburgh council for you!!!!I remeber the outcry when these were first erected.

I have tried to find out the legality of the sign, but the highway code is useless. I will keep searching!
craig51
Get your measure tape out and check
signs rules

and this

click here
jeffreyarcher
Assuming for the moment that they are not approved via the TSRGDs, you will have to check with Edinburgh Council Roads Dept. that they have not got special permission for the use of these signs, and for 'part-time' 'No Entries' at all. So you might as well do so anyway, because if they have, it short circuits the point. It seems that Edinburgh (Scottish Secretary / Scottish Ministers) are far more cavalier about doling out special permissions than the DfT are. Indeed, in this case [*], an Edinburgh (Scottish Secretary / Scottish Ministers) a civil servant was apparently quite open that the DfT had told them (Edinburgh) that they (the DfT) would not have issued such a special permission in Engand & Wales.

[*]Unfortunately, Imageshack seem to have deleted the main image, only the thumbnail remains.
sharewatcher
Thanks for the links JA, I hope my daughters ticket has the same result,

I will wait and see what turns up in the post and if it is a summons I will renew this post.
sharewatcher
Well she has now received a CoFP from the procurator fiscal allowing her a further 28 days to pay.

Following JA's advice I applied for copies of the TRO's and have now received them, which raises my first question,

The TRO's i have received have been signed, but do not appear to have been sealed, is sealing obligatory????,

I have not received the type approval authorization for a LED "No Entry" sign, nor have I received the Scottish Ministers approval for the sighting of this sign although the location is in the TRO's

I will send a further FoI request and keep you all updated.
Lynnzer
I spend hours trawling around in here so I can't remember the actual post itself BUT someone else has had this problem recently and had the case thrown out by the magistrates( or the Scottish equivalents).
I'm sure there was mention of LCD lighting or some such, the awkward placement of the signs which were effectively not able to be seen due to buses parked at bus stops adjacent to them etc.
If you do a search for Edinburgh in the forum you may find the case. It might have been in the Bad Boys forum though so you'll need to consider a subscription to get it.
Lynnzer
I spend hours trawling around in here so I can't remember the actual post itself BUT someone else has had this problem recently and had the case thrown out by the magistrates( or the Scottish equivalents).
I'm sure there was mention of LCD lighting or some such, the awkward placement of the signs which were effectively not able to be seen due to buses parked at bus stops adjacent to them etc.
If you do a search for Edinburgh in the forum you may find the case. It might have been in the Bad Boys forum though so you'll need to consider a subscription to get it.
sharewatcher
Thanks for the reply Lynnzer you are right JA provided a link earlier in the thread, I liked the part that said it was "lit up like a christmas tree"

I will send another FoI request for a type approval or special authorization for this type of sign, and I still need to get the "permissions" for the placement of these signs.

The only thing I found out is that the original order (experimental?) lapsed in 2003 and Edinburgh council applied to make it permanent I have received nothing from my FoI after this date (2003)
sharewatcher
Sorry Lynnzer it was a post titled

'No Entry' Update Great News!

sharewatcher
Just received an e-mail from Edinburgh Council, It seems soooo wrong I have copied part of it below, what do you guys think

QUOTE
I am advised by City Development that the scheme was started first with TRO 1784. During the first eighteen months there was monitoring and then a review. Subsequently TRO 1825 was promulgated which exempted cyclists and TRO 1979 was concluded which adjusted the precise locations where there were the night-time strip closures of the road.



During 2003 there was correspondence with the Scottish Executive Development Department which led to type approvals on 10 June 2003 and 6 August 2003 for the enforcing signs and for their new locations. Type approval was not necessary for the ‘No Entry’ signs which are internally illuminated and to diagram 616 with accompanying ‘except cyclists’ plate to diagram 954.4 The signs were manufactured by ‘DAMBACH’ but City Development no longer has a copy of the manufacturer’s drawing.



With regard to your request for a current sealed Traffic Regulation Order, there is no sealed Order. There is no requirement that documents executed on behalf of local authorities should be sealed

bama
not sealed ? is that a scottish thing. TROs sealed in england (at least the ones I have seen).
or are they hedging a bit methinks.
just get copies of all the relevant TROs - they are public documents.


as for the sign .. can the Scottish Executive Development Department give 'Type Approval' for signs ? ?

I know scotland is different but this sounds very weird to me...

My opinion - they have tried to baffle you with b/s.

Scottish experts, what say thee ?
sharewatcher
Oh well it had to happen, summons arrived today for pre trial 31st march.

Thanks to the excellent advice given and what I have learned from this forum I hope to make this go away at the pre trial.

Listed below are my defences to this charge.

1----No type approval for LED "No Entry signs"
2----The combination of a No Entry sign + an Except Cycles plate is specifically prohibited by the TSRGD 2002
3----The TRO is unlawful as they have not carried out the specific procedures required

If anyone can see a fault in my reasoning I would be obliged if you could point it out
sharewatcher
Well it did not go away at pre trial LOL, all they were interested in was a plea------Not Guilty of course.

The second diet(?) is in August, and I have been bombarding them with FoI request's as well as looking up the relevant legislation, I think I have them on a number of points, any one of which should get a NG verdict.

Sorry to be a bit coy about posting what evidence I have accumulated, But I now know for certain that councils monitor this board.

I will let the board know the outcome after the trial.

patdavies
There is no approval in TSRGD2002 to place a No Entry sign (616) with a Cycles Only sign (954.4).

Only "Except Buses" and "Except Local Buses" are approved.

The correct signage for cyclists to be allowed is Motor Vehicles Prohibited (619)
sharewatcher
Thanks Pat, I have that one covered (along with several others), apparently the police insisted on the diagram 616 (perhaps because 616 is £60FP and endorsable and 619 is £30?FP and not endorsable)

HMMMMM, I wonder where the money goes?

The signs have been there for 7 years and they are still pulling drivers up (shows how effective the signs are).

What I would like is for this to go to trial and show these signs have been illegal since they were installed, but my daughter just wants it to go away. (I am a sixties child and still fighting The Man)
I should have doubled the gumption gene on conception smile.gif

Edited to add more info
patdavies
QUOTE (sharewatcher @ Tue, 8 Jul 2008 - 02:06) *
Thanks Pat, I have that one covered (along with several others), apparently the police insisted on the diagram 616 (perhaps because 616 is £60FP and endorsable and 619 is £30?FP and not endorsable)


The stupidity of the Police here is absolutely amazing if that is true.

What you are actually saying here is that because the proper sign only generates a £30 NEFPN, the Police have requested an unenforceable (due to not being lawful) sign instead.

The sign is not lawful (unless specifically approved by the SoS) and therefore does not exist in law; it cannot be contravened due to its non-existence.
sharewatcher
QUOTE
The stupidity of the Police here is absolutely amazing if that is true.

What you are actually saying here is that because the proper sign only generates a £30 NEFPN, the Police have requested an unenforceable (due to not being lawful) sign instead


I must admit that that was not their stated reason, (a bit of reading between the lines on my part)

The stated reason was that they thought the sign was more "readily understood" and more likely to be complied with than sign 619.

Well it has not been "readily understood" for the past 7 years, I tried to find out how many FPN's were issued at that location but that specific information was not available.

But as you say it is still an "unenforceable (due to not being lawful) sign"

sharewatcher
patdavis wrote
QUOTE
The sign is not lawful (unless specifically approved by the SoS)


The except cycles plate was authorised by the SoS, but my argument is that he does not have the power to issue such an authorisation, to my understanding it would require a change in the law to give him the power.
southpaw82
You don't think the powers under s. 64 RTRA 84 are sufficient?
sharewatcher
southpaw82 wrote


QUOTE
You don't think the powers under s. 64 RTRA 84 are sufficient?


Such a short question, requiring a long and very probably flaky answer smile.gif

QUOTE
s. 64 RTRA 84 (2) Traffic signs shall be of the size, colour and type prescribed by regulations made as mentioned in subsection (1)(a) above except where the Secretary of State authorises the erection or retention of a sign of another character


I could argue that this (a sign of another character) means a non prescribed sign, which the SoS is perfectly entitled to authorise but as both a "No entry" sign and "Except Cycles" plate are both prescribed signs then the TSRGD 2002 takes priority.

The TSRGD 2002 Part 11 (21) (2) states
QUOTE
(2) A plate shown in diagram 954.3 or 954.4 or the sign shown in diagram 954.6 or 954.7 shall not be placed in combination with the sign shown in diagram 616.


So in effect the SoS has authorised a sign which is against the law, is he entitled to do that? I would say no.


And I could also throw in this quote from Hansard

QUOTE
Ms Buck [holding answer 28 October 2005]: The design and use of traffic signs is specified in national regulations so that signs will be used consistently and safely. No-entry signs are safety critical signs that are used with physical barriers or to prevent conflicts and collisions between opposing streams of traffic. The combination with Except buses" plates has been permitted for contraflow bus lanes in one-way streets or other bus-only facilities that it is clearly not appropriate for other vehicles to use. We do not believe that cyclists should be encouraged to cycle past no-entry signs, and the use of except cycles" plates with no-entry signs is specifically prohibited by the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD). There are other sign designs available to indicate routes that cycles and buses, but not other motor vehicles, can use.


Feel free to shoot my argument down (I would rather it be you than the PF) smile.gif but luckily this argument is not my main one

edited to add a point
southpaw82
An interesting topic and one I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at the outcome of. I do follow your point and it is a logical one - the provision for conveying the prohibition and exception are there in the TSRGD so why should the SoS authorise another variant for no good reason except convenience? A potential argument for irrationality or ultra vires.

If you want to introduce Hansard into court the case of Pepper v Hart [1993] AC 593 might be of interest to you.
sharewatcher
QUOTE
If you want to introduce Hansard into court the case of Pepper v Hart [1993] AC 593 might be of interest to you.


Thanks for the heads up southpaw82.
sharewatcher
Trial is on Thursday and the defences I have lined up are very complicated and technical, with regards to law's/regulation's/act's/permission's/authorisation's/ paragraph's/sub paragraph's etc, etc.
As this will be too complicated for my daughter to understand I was wondering if it would be possible to submit a written defence listing all the point's I wish to cover? would this be accepted by the court? ( Thanks to southpaw82 for providing a template letter)
albert2008
I would have thought you would be allowed to attend as defence,

but southpaw82 would better tell you if this is allowed,

and don't forget to ask for out of pocket expences at the time, if/when it is dropped,
cjard
FYI, Dr Science presented his wife's case because he was better equipped and qualified to present the argument, given that the argument was a scientific one and he was a scientist, whereas his wife was not.. It would appear that a court will hence allow a perseon other than the defendant present an argument if they are better able to do so for a reason that the defendant cannot (easily?) become able themselves
sharewatcher
albert2008, unfortunately the case is in Scotland so no expenses.

cjard, I know my daughter could call me as a defence witness, but I would like to be in court to hear the prosecution case.

I know that if you are representing yourself the judge will give you far more leeway than he would a solicitor, lets hope he accepts a written submission
cjard
I think you misunderstood my post; you wouldnt be a witness, you would be presenting your daughter's case. Drop a PM to Dr.S and ask for his advice on how he presented his wife's case.

Remember you would also be allowed to attend court in the public gallery to listen to the entire thing, or you can go as a mckenzie friend (http://www.andrewgray.uklinux.net/legalsup...ocedures56.html) but neither give you the right to address the court.. I understand that youre seeking to argue your daughter's case for her, because she is not able to do so for good reason
sharewatcher
Well!!
That was an eye opener, I did not know that at court you could not discuss the law that is up to the judge to decide, 90% of my case was not discussed, however I think the points I wanted to discuss were covered by my submission, which will be looked over by the judge while he is deliberating the verdict, (adjourned till Tuesday).

If she is found guilty there will be an appeal to the High Court where I hope she will get legal aid
(equity of arms), will let you know the outcome in due course

Thanks for all the help
jeffreyarcher
Only just seen this thread.
Whilst you may not be able to discuss the law, you can most certainly make submissions (although they probably won't like a LIP doing it).
Where are we in the trial? Has the psrosecution concluded its case?
If so, did they prove the special authorisation for the non-prescribed 'Except Cycles' plate?
If not, should be a slam dunk for appeal, I would have thought.
Were you allowed to speak on your daughter's behalf? icon_eek.gif
MacKenzie friends (far less being allowed to speak) are virtually unheard of in Scotland.
Remember, the timescale for appeals is very short in Scotland, only seven days.
You might want to contact Michael Lyon, with a view to getting the legal aid application running, lthough you probably won't get it until you're granted the appeal (chicken and egg angry.gif), i.e. if it passes the 'sifting' judge.
sharewatcher
Hi jeffreyarcher,
Thanks for taking an interest in the case
QUOTE
Whilst you may not be able to discuss the law, you can most certainly make submissions (although they probably won't like a LIP doing it).


Thanks to southpaw82 I had prepared a submission regarding the relevant points of law I wanted to discuss during the trial, this was not allowed, however it was accepted as a closing submission.
QUOTE
Where are we in the trial? Has the prosecution concluded its case?


Yes, and also the defence
QUOTE
if so, did they prove the special authorisation for the non-prescribed 'Except Cycles' plate?

No, the prosecution had no evidence as to the legality of the signs, no authorisations were shown
I was not allowed to ask for them,although I did mention they were needed,if the sign was a variant or as I contended a "variable message sign)
QUOTE
Were you allowed to speak on your daughter's behalf? icon_eek.gif
MacKenzie friends (far less being allowed to speak) are virtually unheard of in Scotland.

No
QUOTE
You might want to contact Michael Lyon, with a view to getting the legal aid application running, lthough you probably won't get it until you're granted the appeal (chicken and egg angry.gif), i.e. if it passes the 'sifting' judge.

The verdict is on Tuesday, I am seriously considering an appeal if the verdict is guilty, I have already spoken to the law clerk regarding this, the judge tried to help my daughter as much as possible, no complaints there, but it was obvious the prosecutor wanted a conviction, I suppose that's her job, I hope my daughter will get legal aid (equality of arms) for an appeal to the High court,
I suppose that's what is good living in Scotland, it does not cost £10,000 to appeal there
Pete D
Legal aid is not available for motoring offences. Good luck for Tuesday. Pete D
sharewatcher
Don't say that!!!!!!!!
As I understand it, you can get legal aid for an appeal under the equality of arms rule.
Just had a funny thought, In the district court you cannot argue points of law, but in the High Court that is what you must argue
jeffreyarcher
I'm totally confused. You say both that you were not allowed to speak on behalf of yor daughter, and that you were not.
As to the prosecutor, it wasn't Laura Irvine, was it? I believe that she works for the other side, now. biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (Pete D @ Fri, 5 Sep 2008 - 09:33) *
Legal aid is not available for motoring offences.


QUOTE (sharewatcher @ Fri, 5 Sep 2008 - 10:27) *
Don't say that!!!!!!!!
As I understand it, you can get legal aid for an appeal under the equality of arms rule.

Usual bull from Pete D. Although, whether it's under equality of arms, I've no idea.

QUOTE (sharewatcher @ Fri, 5 Sep 2008 - 10:27) *
In the district court you cannot argue points of law,

You can, but;
1) You have to be allowwd to speak in the first place, and
2) You have to do it at the correct point, e.g. usually at the 'no case to answer' stage, or at the end of the defence case.
sharewatcher
Hi jeffreyarcher,
QUOTE
I'm totally confused


I thought it better that my daughter called me as a witness, I don't know if that was a mistake on my part as I was not allowed to be in the court during the case, she had her mother for moral support
jeffreyarcher
QUOTE (sharewatcher @ Fri, 5 Sep 2008 - 13:07) *
I thought it better that my daughter called me as a witness, I don't know if that was a mistake on my part as I was not allowed to be in the court during the case, she had her mother for moral support

Perhaps why they wouldn't let you discuss points of law either.
sharewatcher
Well she was found guilty, under the catch all RTA 1988 S36(3) which basically says that I have to prove authorisations do not exist.

The judge did find as a fact that it was a "variable message sign" covered by TSRGD 2002 S58.(1) but I had to prove that the authorisation ( needed under TSRGD Part 2 Direction 56 (1) (2h) (3) ) did not exist. or that (RTA 1988 S36(1) applies to the sign) was not stated in the authorisation which did not exist.

The prosecutor did not have to prove a thing or provide any authorisations.

One other did strike me as unfair, between the trial ending and the verdict, the judge took it upon himself to find new "evidence" in the form of "orders" which were not provided at trial and which the defence had no opportunity to examine, although he was at pains to point out that he did not use these "orders" to make up his mind as to guilt, (this begs the question, why bother)

All four of my arguments regarded authorisations in some way or another and this is what let me down.
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