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Astro
Hello smile.gif

I am currently appealing a buslane PCN issued by Merton Council. They have rejected my informal appeal so I am considering taking it further.

Part of my initial appeal was based on the fact that there were 3 points in the bus lane where the road markings did not comply with those described in the Traffic Signs Manual and the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.

In their response they say:

The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and Chapter 5 of the TSRGD. Moreover, the introduction section of the Traffic Signs Manual states, "The Traffic Signs manual is intended to give advice to traffic authorities and their agents on the correct use of signs and road markings." The manual is for guidance only and any implementation may be affected by constraints of the road layout and length of bus lane.

Could anyone advise if this is really the case? I thought that if the road markings and/or signage were not as prescribed then that renders the bus lane unenforceable dontknow.gif

Many thanks for any help you can offer.

Liz

dave-o
I see they haven't mentioned that the TSRGD - probably because that is legislation and not just guidance!
Astro
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:18) *
The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and Chapter 5 of the TSRGD. Moreover, the introduction section of the Traffic Signs Manual states, "The Traffic Signs manual is intended to give advice to traffic authorities and their agents on the correct use of signs and road markings." The manual is for guidance only and any implementation may be affected by constraints of the road layout and length of bus lane.


Well they did mention it here.....
dave-o
Yes, but they only say the manual is guidance.

Your point is good and they are being disengenuous IMO.
yen_powell
In the Traffic Signs Manual the word 'must' is used when something is legally required and 'should' when it is good practice. Says it somewhere in the introduction of each chapter I believe.
Astro
Thanks for your responses guys.

I have had another look at the Traffic Signs Manual and unfortunately all the relevant sections just say "should" rather than "must" which now leaves me doubting whether or not I would have grounds to appeal or not.

The other grounds for appeal that I had were that I had moved into the bus lane as I believed there to be diesel on the road. I should mention at this point that I was riding a motorbike at the time. From the pictures provided it is clear that I was only in the bus lane for a short distance and that I wasn't delaying any buses by being there. In their response they are disputing that there was no diesel on the road saying none is visible even though they should be aware that diesel is not always visible on a dry road - you can normally smell it before you'll see anything! Diesel is extremely hazardous when on 2 wheels so I was simply taking action that I considered necessary in order to avoid an accident. icon_sad.gif
DancingDad
QUOTE (yen_powell @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 15:47) *
In the Traffic Signs Manual the word 'must' is used when something is legally required and 'should' when it is good practice. Says it somewhere in the introduction of each chapter I believe.


IT do
And the bit the council quoted comes from that introduction........A cynical mind would think that they'd delibately missed of the bit about must and should.
I reckon it's always worth quoting the end of TSM Chapt 3, sec 1.1 at them
QUOTE
.................it is for traffic
authorities to determine what signing is necessary
to meet those duties, although failure to follow the
Manual's guidance without good reason might
well lead to enforcement difficulties. In particular,
adjudicators might consider such failure to be
evidence that the signing was unclear. Traffic
authorities should always remember that the purpose
of regulatory signs is to ensure that drivers clearly
understand what restrictions or prohibitions are in
force.


BTW, what is Chapter 5 of TSRGD ????

If you mention the diesel, do it carefully else could be seen as admitting knowingly entering a buslane. It may be ignored by an adjudicator but they maybe bikers themselves and know exactly what you mean.
And cross reference the TSM advise with the TSRGD markings, regs and any directions..you never know.
nimh999
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:18) *
the road markings did not comply with those described in the Traffic Signs Manual and the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.

In their response they say:

The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and Chapter 5 of the TSRGD.


Better off posting pictures of the lines and signs. The TSRGD is a legal requirement and any deviation makes the "bus lane" not a "bus lane". As for the TSM. If it says guidance then it is guidance and they can ignore if they want.
clark_kent
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 19:58) *
The other grounds for appeal that I had were that I had moved into the bus lane as I believed there to be diesel on the road. I should mention at this point that I was riding a motorbike at the time. From the pictures provided it is clear that I was only in the bus lane for a short distance and that I wasn't delaying any buses by being there. In their response they are disputing that there was no diesel on the road saying none is visible even though they should be aware that diesel is not always visible on a dry road - you can normally smell it before you'll see anything! Diesel is extremely hazardous when on 2 wheels so I was simply taking action that I considered necessary in order to avoid an accident. icon_sad.gif



You are correct it is very dangerous to bikers so no doubt you pulled over and reported it to the Police or Local Authority so they will have a record of it.
Scaramouche
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:26) *
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:18) *
The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and Chapter 5 of the TSRGD. Moreover, the introduction section of the Traffic Signs Manual states, "The Traffic Signs manual is intended to give advice to traffic authorities and their agents on the correct use of signs and road markings." The manual is for guidance only and any implementation may be affected by constraints of the road layout and length of bus lane.


Well they did mention it here.....


With respect, there is no "Chapter 5 of the TSRGD"! They are mixing up the Manuals with the Statute. There IS Chapter 5 Traffic Signs Manual, however. With regard to the statute, concentrate on the Directions and Regulations and can we please have everything posted in order to help? Correspondence, signage - roads and poles, warning signs, remnants of diesel, proof of removal of diesel: everything. Pictures and video evidence. TRO. The lot.

Cannot believe their pre-amoeba muppet-speak! Require all paperwork re this location and FOI them when was the last time the author of the said response undertook some training in this regard. Seriously.

And FOI them for all cases which have been appealed at PATAS re this location, all those which have been informally appealed and results of both, and, in the case of the latter, at what stage if successful. Re former, get the case numbers. If they want you to part with your money, make them work for it. They may err on the way. And one final point: edit out name if this is your real name: they do watch!

Try: Bus lanes.com and ticketfighter.co.uk; and Bus priority: the way ahead (DfT) for useful info.

Also this advice from motortorque: How to deal with diesel:

* Firstly, always try to steer around the diesel. If you hit it, keep the bike as upright as possible, maintain a constant throttle and do NOT apply your brakes. If you are cornering, stand the bike up and run a little wider to the other side of the slick.
* Do everything on the bike smoothly, as you would on ice, and you can ride out the other side safely. Remember that there are likely to be more spillages further up the road, so keep a look out.
* If you inform your local council of any spillages, they should get it dealt with.

So, you did the first and claim that you did so in order to avoid an accident.
clark_kent
QUOTE (Scaramouche @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 00:37) *
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:26) *
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:18) *
The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and Chapter 5 of the TSRGD. Moreover, the introduction section of the Traffic Signs Manual states, "The Traffic Signs manual is intended to give advice to traffic authorities and their agents on the correct use of signs and road markings." The manual is for guidance only and any implementation may be affected by constraints of the road layout and length of bus lane.


Well they did mention it here.....


With respect, there is no "Chapter 5 of the TSRGD"! They are mixing up the Manuals with the Statute.


I think you are also getting confused they are refering to schedule 5 of the TSRGD.
strollingplayer
QUOTE (nimh999 @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 21:40) *
The TSRGD is a legal requirement and any deviation makes the "bus lane" not a "bus lane".

Not entirely - for the purpose of bus lane PCNs, the definition comes from the Transport Act, which is broader. A piece of road can be a "bus lane" under TA that isn't a "bus lane" according to TSRGD. s.64 RTRA still applies, and the signs must still be either prescribed or authorised.
Scaramouche
QUOTE (clark_kent @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 09:35) *
QUOTE (Scaramouche @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 00:37) *
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:26) *
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:18) *
The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and Chapter 5 of the TSRGD. Moreover, the introduction section of the Traffic Signs Manual states, "The Traffic Signs manual is intended to give advice to traffic authorities and their agents on the correct use of signs and road markings." The manual is for guidance only and any implementation may be affected by constraints of the road layout and length of bus lane.


Well they did mention it here.....


With respect, there is no "Chapter 5 of the TSRGD"! They are mixing up the Manuals with the Statute.


I think you are also getting confused they are refering to schedule 5 of the TSRGD.


OK. Please direct me to Specsavers in that case. Read what is says: "Chapter 5 of the TSRGD". I do not possess telepathic powers. I am not confused and you are assuming that they are referring to Schedule 5 of the statute.
Scaramouche
Aside from these semantic arguments, and to summarise: what are we advising the OP to do in order to get off this, ladies and gentlemen? I mean: sound, pragmatic advice, which addresses the OP's predicament.
clark_kent
QUOTE (Scaramouche @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 10:15) *
QUOTE (clark_kent @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 09:35) *
QUOTE (Scaramouche @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 00:37) *
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:26) *
QUOTE (Astro @ Wed, 22 Sep 2010 - 12:18) *
The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and Chapter 5 of the TSRGD. Moreover, the introduction section of the Traffic Signs Manual states, "The Traffic Signs manual is intended to give advice to traffic authorities and their agents on the correct use of signs and road markings." The manual is for guidance only and any implementation may be affected by constraints of the road layout and length of bus lane.


Well they did mention it here.....


With respect, there is no "Chapter 5 of the TSRGD"! They are mixing up the Manuals with the Statute.


I think you are also getting confused they are refering to schedule 5 of the TSRGD.


I do not possess telepathic powers.


How in that case do you know they are 'mixing up the manuals with the statute' a chapter is a sub division of a book so a schedule is a chapter of the TSRGD?
Scaramouche
The points you make relate to advisory guidance as laid out in the Traffic signs Manual and [color="#ff0000"]Chapter 5 of the TSRGD

Well they did mention it here.....
[/quote]

With respect, there is no "Chapter 5 of the TSRGD"! They are mixing up the Manuals with the Statute.[/quote]


[/quote]

How in that case do you know they are 'mixing up the manuals with the statute' a chapter is a sub division of a book so a schedule is a chapter of the TSRGD?


[/quote]

Because, if you look at the whole context and quote above, it is quite clear to a person with a modicum of intelligence that, not only have they used the wrong nomenclature, they are also wrongly stating that "advisory guidance" is "laid out" in "Chapter 5 of the TSRGD." As TSRGD is a statute, contains no "chapters", verses or hymns even, therefore, they surely mean what I say they mean i.e. if you mean what I think you mean. Still, this would seem to be an unknown unknown as opposed to a known unknown, if you see what I mean. Sorry. Clearly, I need to save up for a lexicon in muppet-speak because another poster had already mentioned this (DD) and I am sorry to have brought it up again, but did not notice at the time. The same author has, I believe, made further valid comments re the guidance.

Anyway, rather than argue to no avail about this, surely it is in the interests of the OP to argue that this explanation is totally invalid and, therefore, would constitute a valid point of submission at adjudication, if this goes that far?
DancingDad
I think any arguments on semantics is missing the point that in the NOR Merton have been a bit naughty by refering to Chapter 5 of TSRGD.
While it may be clear to someone with knowledge of the statutes that Schedule 5 (TSRGD) relates to Bus lane signage and therefore they may well accept it as a simple error, the council have included erroneous and misleading information that could lead a lay person to conclude that it is not worth appealing further.
Chapter 5 sounds all official. As does TSRGD.
The assumption (and duty) is that a council is governed by statute, are experts in the laws they are relying on and would not mislead the public by refering them to something that does not exist.
A layperson may not know that TSRGD is an abbreviation for Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002
Even if they did, they would not find Chapter 5 as the "chapters" are called schedules
While it may be a simple error it could have the same effect as citing The Merton Bus Lane Act 1996. It could lead a person into the belief that legislation exists that they cannot find but must exist (cos the council says so) and therefore they have no case for appeal. This is misleading and if deliberate is Fraud (Telling porkies for gain)

I'd certainly include that sort of argument into any appeal. May not be a winner but shows council are playing fast and loose.
ford poplar
IMO forget the Traffic Signs Manual (until Adjudication) any substantive appeal should be based on the requirements (or lack of) of the TSRG&D 2002 which is the definative Statute for road signs, markings and permissable variants not requiring special authorisation.
Scaramouche
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 17:41) *
I think any arguments on semantics is missing the point that in the NOR Merton have been a bit naughty by refering to Chapter 5 of TSRGD.
While it may be clear to someone with knowledge of the statutes that Schedule 5 (TSRGD) relates to Bus lane signage and therefore they may well accept it as a simple error, the council have included erroneous and misleading information that could lead a lay person to conclude that it is not worth appealing further.
Chapter 5 sounds all official. As does TSRGD.
The assumption (and duty) is that a council is governed by statute, are experts in the laws they are relying on and would not mislead the public by refering them to something that does not exist.
A layperson may not know that TSRGD is an abbreviation for Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002
Even if they did, they would not find Chapter 5 as the "chapters" are called schedules
While it may be a simple error it could have the same effect as citing The Merton Bus Lane Act 1996. It could lead a person into the belief that legislation exists that they cannot find but must exist (cos the council says so) and therefore they have no case for appeal. This is misleading and if deliberate is Fraud (Telling porkies for gain)

I'd certainly include that sort of argument into any appeal. May not be a winner but shows council are playing fast and loose.


Agreed, in principle. As I attempted to imply in my last post, which may have crossed yours, this apparent error could, if argued in terms of the correct tactics and knowledge of the procedures, well prove to be a constituent of procedural impropriety. IMO, and having digested your views, it already does so.

We do really need to see some documentation etc. and fast in order to help.
Astro
I really appreciate all the comments and advice received so far.

Sorry I have been really busy today and not had time to post up any more details - I shall endeavour to do so tomorrow.

A couple of quick points though:

The reply I have had from Merton was in response to my informal representation and is not therefore the Notice of Rejection. I still have the chance to send in my formal representation once I have received the Enforcement Notice from them.

The other thing is that I abbreviated the TRSGD in my original post - in the letter to me they had written it out in full - although funnily enough, looking at the letter again I see that they have actually referred to it as the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Regulations huh.gif


Bogsy
It might serve you well OP to let us see what 3 points you appealed on and the full reply from the council.
DancingDad
Regulations instead of directions shows sloppiness but little else..chapter is IMO more misleading.
If someone searched on line for Traffic Signs Regulations and General Regulations, google finds it...first two hits for me were OPSI and DFT...but not chapter 5 of the same.
Doesn't matter whether formal notice to you or letter in regard of anything to do with a PCN.....it should not give misleading or incorrect information.
Scaramouche
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 22:37) *
Regulations instead of directions shows sloppiness but little else..chapter is IMO more misleading.
If someone searched on line for Traffic Signs Regulations and General Regulations, google finds it...first two hits for me were OPSI and DFT...but not chapter 5 of the same.
Doesn't matter whether formal notice to you or letter in regard of anything to do with a PCN.....it should not give misleading or incorrect information.


Agreed. But we need to see the stuff OP, please! Verbatim (don't start DD!) Word for word i.e. what they did wrote (alla Ernie Wise!)

Anyone sure "Have I Got News For You" guy isn't related to this lot? Cos this is comedy.

QUOTE (Astro @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 21:42) *
I really appreciate all the comments and advice received so far.



The other thing is that I abbreviated the TRSGD in my original post - in the letter to me they had written it out in full - although funnily enough, looking at the letter again I see that they have actually referred to it as the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Regulations huh.gif




I am now ordering "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and cancelling the lexicon as per previous post. Seriously, if that reply had been proof-read, was the person doing so under the influence of some other kind of proof?
Scaramouche
QUOTE (Scaramouche @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 23:06) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 22:37) *
Regulations instead of directions shows sloppiness but little else..chapter is IMO more misleading.
If someone searched on line for Traffic Signs Regulations and General Regulations, google finds it...first two hits for me were OPSI and DFT...but not chapter 5 of the same.
Doesn't matter whether formal notice to you or letter in regard of anything to do with a PCN.....it should not give misleading or incorrect information.


Agreed. But we need to see the stuff OP, please! Verbatim (don't start DD!) Word for word i.e. what they did wrote (alla Ernie Wise!)

Anyone sure "Have I Got News For You" guy isn't related to this lot? Cos this is comedy.

QUOTE (Astro @ Sat, 25 Sep 2010 - 21:42) *
I really appreciate all the comments and advice received so far.



The other thing is that I abbreviated the TRSGD in my original post - in the letter to me they had written it out in full - although funnily enough, looking at the letter again I see that they have actually referred to it as the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Regulations huh.gif




I am now ordering "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and cancelling the lexicon as per previous post. Seriously, if that reply had been proof-read, was the person doing so under the influence of some other kind of proof?


There is also this re the 20 metre argument:

20 metres grace is quoted in some cases where a motorist inadvertentlly enters a bus lane, then attempts to get out at earliest opportunity.

"Case 13 - 20 metre rule and vehicle accessing bus lane in order to manoeuvre into a parking space. Lack of video evidence.

The council said that the vehicle was in the bus lane for more than 20 metres although the motorist stated that he only entered the bus lane in order to park. The stills provided by the council did not show how far the car actually travelled in the bus lane but they did show the vehicle at an angle across the bus lane moving towards the inside. The traffic management order allowed such a manoeuvre in order to gain access to a parking place and as the council only produced the stills and which did not show what the driver eventually did the adjudicator said that “on the balance of probabilities” the exemption applied and allowed the appeal. It is vital for the council to produce video evidence in cases like this and if they are unable to do so then quite often they will have an appeal upheld against them.

It is for the council to prove that the contravention occurred not for a motorist to prove that it didn’t."

Also:


"The 20 metre rule - The guidelines for enforcement of bus lanes in London (and we suspect elsewhere) state that the operator should observe a vehicle travelling along a bus lane for at least 20 metres before he issues a Penalty Charge Notice. We hear of many instances where vehicles receive a penalty charge notice when they have clearly not travelled along a bus lane for 20 meters. For example simply cutting off the end of a bus lane or not able to avoid the first couple of metres or swinging in and out when a car in front suddenly stops. Councils are aware of this guideline but quite often ignore it. If you have received a PCN in these circumstances you should immediately write to the local council and point out that they did not operate within the guidelines. You could even complain to the local government ombudsman. There is also something called the crossover exemption and the adjudicators have also mentioned the 20 metre rule in relation to this exemption. 20 Metres is approximately 5 car lengths. There are exceptions for example if the bus lane itself is less than 20 meters long."

Edited to differentiate my contribution from that of original quoted source.
Astro
Ok (hopefully) here are the relevant documents so far:

1. Photos provided by Merton



2. PCN





3. My Informal representation



4. Merton response to informal representation





Along with my informal representation I sent 4 photos:

1. Deflector arrows at start of bus lane (wrongly positioned)



2. Road markings at Downes Road



3. End of bus lane (lack of diagram 1050)





Since looking into this in more detail these last few days, I also noticed on the way home from work the other day that there is no advance warning sign (958) which I understand should be placed 30m in advance of the taper. I have taken a photo but for some reason cannot get it to show in this post.

Scaramouche, I have been thinking about this 20 metre rule. Looking at the photos provided by Merton, I'd say I was probably in the bus lane for about that distance, maybe a bit less. Although in their response to me they state that I was undertaking a van and a car, the pictures clearly show that I wasn't undertaking them. As I said previously, I moved into the bus lane in order to avoid what I believed to be diesel on the road, not to try and gain any advantage over the vehicles in front of me.

I hope this hasn't been to lengthy and I look forward to any more advice you guys can give me over this.

Thanks icon_flower.gif
strollingplayer
On the photo/video side, it's arguable that technically it's not a moving contravention. If you are done for entering and stopping in a box, or making a prohibited turn, the video needs to show the sequence of events. For bus lanes, the contravention is "being in a bus lane", so potentially a photograph showing evidence of you in the bus lane would demonstrate that you "were in a bus lane". The problem here is that the video would reveal whether any exemptions are relevant, and the precedent is that it is for the accused to make out the exemption, not for the council to prove that they couldn't have applied.
Astro
Today I spoke to someone in the Parking Services Department about viewing the CCTV footage. Unfortunately you can only view it between 9.30 and 4.30, Mon-Fri. and as I work in Central London it is impossible for me to get there during those hours. I asked if they were able to send me a copy but was told that they did not offer that service. They only send copies of video if the Adjudicator requests it if it goes to appeal. It seems it is only at that point I would also be able to view it.

Is it me or does that seem a bit unfair?
strollingplayer
You have them for failure to provide the information at the earliest opportunity. It's not up to them to decide whether they want to "offer that service" - it's evidence being used to support a penal measure, and the accused must be able to see the evidence against them. In this day and age it's trivial to pull the video from CCTV and put it on a CD.
Scaramouche
Agreed. They are seriously digging a hole for themselves and fettering OP's right to make a proper defence and representation, thus amounting to a serious procedural impropriety.

Whereas the former argument re the misquoting of Chapter 5 may be regarded as de minimis, this recent nonsense is substantial.
Astro
UPDATE:

I was due to go to PATAS this coming Friday but two days ago I came home and found this letter waiting for me:




laugh.gif

Thanks for all advice and help received from members on this forum.

Liz
Scaramouche
Yippee! Many congratulations. Now apply for costs. laugh.gif Also, FOIR to council re PCN's issued, paid, challenged etc at this location and copy to Press. ninja.gif

Also, could you fill us in briefly as to what transpired in the meantime?

Just re-read the thread: do them for costs - vexatious, frivolous & unreasonable pursuit of this PCN.

http://keycases.parkingandtrafficappeals.g...d%20version.pdf

http://keycases.parkingandtrafficappeals.g...ocs/Chase21.pdf

http://keycases.parkingandtrafficappeals.g...Rentoul-011.pdf
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