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JD231
So sorry that I have to post again - hopefully this will be the last time.

I received a PCN in the post for driving in a bus lane. I vaguely rememeber the day. The PCN is below but shows no evidence in the form of pictures, of the alleged contravention. I asked the council to send the evidence via e mail and of course they didn't. After chasing, I received some video footage and a photo. Now the only problem is, it was dark, so the photo is a close up of a car, in pitch darkness. You can't see if the car is in a bus lane or not, they have just highlighted the number plate, which is mine. I've attached it below.

The footage is also in complete darkness. You can make out the shape of a car, you can't see the number plate, or if it is indeed in a bus lane or not. Not sure how to upload footage though...

I asked them to tell me precisely where on Burnt Oak Broadway it is as there are many bus lanes in that location, and obviously going in two directions. I've not heard back from them.

Does anyone think this photo and similar footage is enough evidence of the alleged contravention?

Thanks for your time.




SchoolRunMum
That's a shockingly dark photo - one wonders if they are so embarrassed by their night-time photos in that bus lane that they routinely send out those PCNs with no pics in the hope of at least some people just paying up!

What can I say, can't see anything wrong with the PCN but I think you have done the right thing in asking where the bus lane was in that road. How on earth can a motorist tell theres a bus lane from the photo, let alone which bus lane?

I would see what they come back with and if the next thing you hear is an Enforcement Notice then I would appeal further and include a 'vague locus' argument. As you know, you will be in for the full penalty amount - or nothing - if you decide to take the appeal further.
JD231
Thanks for your reply SchoolRunMum. I looked at the footage again and it is a little clearer. You still can't see it's a bus lane but you can see the thick white line. Not sure if that's enough evidence? Are they still likely to have the footage and be able to zoom in for proper proof it's me while the footage is still running? Surely some footage of a random car you can't even see driving down something which may or may not be a bus lane, and a photo like that, isn't evidence enough? Would that be enough for me to use at adjudication to say it wasn't me?
JD231
I managed to get photos of the bus lane I THINK it is, although I can't be sure. It could be another one where the sign has fallen off. I've asked for the exact location but not heard back yet. Will ask again. Here is an explanation of the pics.

Pic 1 - is the advance warning of a bus lane sign
Pic 2 - Is the warning that's positioned at the start of the thick white line (notice it's facing outwards slightly)
Pic 3 - Is where the bus lane was once repainted but the old lines not removed very well - possibly confusing?
Pic 4 - The solid white line goes back to a taper - is this normal? It covers a side road...
Pic 5 - This is the tapering beginning again from the other direction for a clearer shot
Pic 6 - Is where the bus lane ends
Pic 7 - is the start of a side road and no 'bus lane' painted on the road at the start of it. Am I right in thinking there should be a new sign painted at the start of every side road?







SchoolRunMum
I hope a bus lane expert will see this as the signs do not look clear, the road particularly looks like a mess of changed and unfinished lines and a lack of repeated 'BUS LANE' wording.

But when you do appeal, don't say 'it wasn't me' just say where/how the Council have failed to show the contravention occurred. Oh, and if you have seen the footage then that is the only footage that they can use at adjudication AFAIK - I am pretty sure they cannot revisit the tape and add more.
JD231
QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Tue, 8 Nov 2011 - 19:05) *
I hope a bus lane expert will see this as the signs do not look clear, the road particularly looks like a mess of changed and unfinished lines and a lack of repeated 'BUS LANE' wording.

But when you do appeal, don't say 'it wasn't me' just say where/how the Council have failed to show the contravention occurred. Oh, and if you have seen the footage then that is the only footage that they can use at adjudication AFAIK - I am pretty sure they cannot revisit the tape and add more.

Thanks SchoolRunMum. When you say 'how the council have failed to show the contravention occurred', do you mean by not proving it was actually my car in the bus lane? (To be fair, they could have zoomed in on the wrong car - the car in the footage isn't obviously mine and the photo of my car, doesn't show I was in a bus lane) Or that I would have passed all the appropriate signage etc?
JD231
Hello - just wondered if there are any bus lane experts?
SchoolRunMum
Just wondering if anyone can help this OP further? Any other thoughts anyone about that bus lane & lines/signs?
JD231
Just bumping as it's been quite a while. My only question at this point is do councils have to comply with the Traffic Signs Manual or is it just a guidance? Need to know for any response I get from them re my appeal.

If you look here at page 130, http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/traf...-chapter-03.pdf, it says, 'The lane should not start in such a position that the taper would extend across a side road junction.' - now the taper where I drove in a bus lane does end before the left hand turn, but only about a meter later becomes a taper again across the side road. Confusing!

And:

'17.6 The legend BUS LANE to diagram 1048 should be marked in the lane at its commencement. It should also appear after every side road junction on the same side of the road as the bus lane, and, in conjunction with signs to diagram 959, at intervals not exceeding 300 m along uninterrupted lengths of the lane.' - after the left hand turn there is no 'bus lane' painted on the ground or any bus lane sign at all so is impossible to know you're in a bus lane. However, I think this might be an exit from something - not sure though. It does appear in my photos to be a sideroad though.

Here is a link to the side road I'm talking about - the lane has been changed since street view captured this - the solid line across the road is now a taper...

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=burnt+oak+...,81.26,,0,13.33

What do you experts think?
SchoolRunMum
I think you are on the right lines - hope others can see this and advise?
Exiled Yorkshireman
If there are several bus lanes in Burnt Oak Broadway, HA8 I would suggest that the location as specified on the PCN is insufficiently precise to adequately convey the location at which the contravention allegedly occurred.

I am not aware of any cases of adudicators ruling on this with respect to bus lanes, but Adamou - v - Haringey (link) deals with an imprecise location with respect to yellow box junctions.

In Adamou, Adjudicator Hugh Cooper said on the point of the statement of location, with respect to yellow box junctions, "The Council's own evidence shows that they have no fewer than 9 cameras in High Road N22, 6 of which are located at junctions. Whether or not all are devoted to monitoring compliance with box junctions, it makes clear that this is a long road with a considerable number of junctions. It is evident from Mrs Adamou's case that she did not know on receipt of the PCN where the contravention was alleged to have occurred. Had the PCN specified "High Road N22 at its junction with Bounds Green Road", then Mrs Adamou would have known where to look. As it was, by simply stating "in High Road N22", I find that the PCN did not state the grounds on which the Council believed that the penalty charge was payable. Those grounds must be expressed in terms that allow the recipient of a PCN to know not just the nature of the alleged contravention, but where it was said to have occurred. I find therefore that no valid PCN was served on Mrs Adamou, and so the Council cannot enforce this penalty charge."

I'd suggest, reasoning by analogy, that simply listing the street name for a bus lane contravention in a street with multiple bus lanes is similarly defective.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along soon who can confirm whether this is a valid appeal point.
JD231
QUOTE (Exiled Yorkshireman @ Fri, 25 Nov 2011 - 12:26) *
If there are several bus lanes in Burnt Oak Broadway, HA8 I would suggest that the location as specified on the PCN is insufficiently precise to adequately convey the location at which the contravention allegedly occurred.

I am not aware of any cases of adudicators ruling on this with respect to bus lanes, but Adamou - v - Haringey (link) deals with an imprecise location with respect to yellow box junctions.

In Adamou, Adjudicator Hugh Cooper said on the point of the statement of location, with respect to yellow box junctions, "The Council's own evidence shows that they have no fewer than 9 cameras in High Road N22, 6 of which are located at junctions. Whether or not all are devoted to monitoring compliance with box junctions, it makes clear that this is a long road with a considerable number of junctions. It is evident from Mrs Adamou's case that she did not know on receipt of the PCN where the contravention was alleged to have occurred. Had the PCN specified "High Road N22 at its junction with Bounds Green Road", then Mrs Adamou would have known where to look. As it was, by simply stating "in High Road N22", I find that the PCN did not state the grounds on which the Council believed that the penalty charge was payable. Those grounds must be expressed in terms that allow the recipient of a PCN to know not just the nature of the alleged contravention, but where it was said to have occurred. I find therefore that no valid PCN was served on Mrs Adamou, and so the Council cannot enforce this penalty charge."

I'd suggest, reasoning by analogy, that simply listing the street name for a bus lane contravention in a street with multiple bus lanes is similarly defective.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along soon who can confirm whether this is a valid appeal point.


Thanks so much for this! I'm sure I could use this. I've asked them three times for the exact location and each e mail has been ignored. There are a few bus lanes on BOB which are non compliant - maybe why they're not telling me!
JD231
Hey. I just received this e mail from Barnet council re my bus lane pcn:

Dear Madam

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended)

London Local Authorities Act 1996 (as amended)

Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notice:

Contravention Date: 15/10/2011

Vehicle Registration:

Date of service of this notice: 14/12/2011

Thank you for your letter, which was received by the Council on 15/11/2011 regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice which was issued on 26/10/2011 in respect of vehicle registration xxxx on Burnt Oak Broadway HA8 for the contravention being in a bus lane.

We have considered everything in your letter including any evidence enclosed but do not feel that you have made grounds for cancelling the Penalty Charge Notice and as such payment remains due.

We have considered everything in your letter including any evidence enclosed but do not feel that you have made grounds for cancelling the Penalty Charge Notice and as such payment remains due.

We have rejected your reasons for cancellation because you had driven in the bus lane for a distance of over 4 vehicles, which is an instant contravention.

The hours of restriction are 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm, Monday to Saturday inclusive and are clearly displayed on time plates at the start of each Bus Lane. It is the motorists’ responsibility to check and comply with such signage.

I must advise you that unless the road markings indicate differently in a location, a motorist who is intending to turn left off a road with a bus lane on it must stay in the unrestricted lane for traffic up until the point of the turning.

To view any supplementary photographic evidence taken by the Civil Enforcement Officer, please log on to the following website, ensuring that you have the Penalty Charge Notice number (beginning "AG") and your vehicle's registration number available:

https://live.esd.ce.civicahosting.co.uk/bar...cnEvidence.aspx.

However, please note that there is no legal requirement for such evidence to be taken, therefore the absence of photographs for a case does not invalidate the contravention.

As you will note from the photos that not only was your vehicle clearly visible in the Bus Lane but that your registration is also clearly visible.

Because you wrote to us during the period when you could have paid the penalty charge at the reduced amount, you can still pay the reduced amount of £65.00, if the payment is received by this office before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the date of service of this letter.

If you want to pay, please see the ‘How to Pay’ section at the end of this letter. If you decide to make a formal appeal, you must not pay the notice, but wait for an Enforcement Notice to be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. At this point, you may not be able to pay the reduced amount.

If you do not pay the reduced amount before the end of the 14 day period mentioned above or pay the full amount of £130.00 before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the PCN, whichever is later, then we will issue an Enforcement Notice to the registered keeper of the vehicle. Formal representations against the PCN may be made at that stage and the procedure for doing so and the grounds for making a formal representation will be explained on the Enforcement Notice.

Yours sincerely,

CT

Information Officer

HOW TO PAY

Telephone payment: Call our 24 hour automated payment line on 08453 010 206, on any day and follow the instructions. Our system will confirm the amount payable.

Online payment: http://www.barnet.gov.uk/online-services/online-payments.htm the system will prompt the amount payable.
By post: Cheques and postal orders can be sent by post. All cheques and postal orders must be payable to “London Borough of Barnet”. Ensure cheques are correctly signed and dated. We will not accept post-dated cheques. Ensure postal orders are stamped by the Post Office. Write the PCN number (the “BA number” or “AG number” on the notice) and the vehicle registration number on the back of the cheque or postal order. Ensure the amount in figures is the same as the amount in words.
Postal credit or debit card payments can no longer be made. Please use the automated payment line or the online payment facility to make a payment using your credit or debit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Maestro, Delta, & Solo card payments.

All postal payments should be sent to: London Borough of Barnet, Parking Process, P.O. Box 27284, London N11 1YB. Payment cannot be made by instalments. If insufficient payment is made the balance will be pursued as if the penalty was not paid.

Do not send cash in the post. Please do not send any payment if you want to challenge this penalty charge notice (see over).

**

They have still completely ignored my requests for the exact location and ignored all the times I've asked for the TMO that covers this location. Thinking of responding with a vague locus argument, and sending photos of several bus lanes on Burnt Oak Broadway that aren't signed properly. I don't know which bus lane I was in because they won't tell me, but the one i think it may have been is not signed after a road on the left - so you can turn out of it and not know you're in a bus lane due to no signage whatsoever.

Would really appreciate some input from the experts on any other arguments I may have.

Thanks.

Edit: I just clicked on the link they provided and they have now added the exact location, which is A5 Burnt Oak Broadway / Southside of J/W Barnfield Road HA8. This part of the bus lane is not signed when you come out of a left turn, which is a block of flats behind the shops. No words painted on the ground or sign - can I use this as a defence do you think?

This is the left turn I'm talking about:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Barnfield+...12,66.3,,0,17.2
SchoolRunMum
Yes I would use that evidence that the bus lane is not signed at all from that approach.

I would email this fact straight back at them and then conclude along the lines that:

'as you have failed to provide the Traffic Order that your PCN suggests I may have contravened, despite several requests, then if it is not now provided as a link in your reply I will have no alternative but to conclude that I have not in fact contravened any Traffic Order. Your unsupported assertion that driving 'in the bus lane for a distance of over 4 vehicles...is an instant contravention' is wholly unhelpful to me in making an informed decision about this PCN if you refuse to provide me with any evidence whatsoever that I have contravened any Traffic Order.'



...or summat similar.
JD231
Thanks SRM. I'm going to write my appeal over the next couple of days and will post up to get your view on it. Also, I just got another e mail from the bus lane team at Barnet. They obviously didn't realise they'd already responded and have responded again with this:

Dear Sir/Madam

As we have mention in our previous email, any representations must be made in writing to:

Parking Team

PO Box 27284

London

N11 1YB


Or


Tel Enq: 020 8359 7446

Their PCNs state you can indeed make representations via e mail but he's trying to tell me I can't. I've replied telling him as much and asking if he's now refusing to accept e mails but no response yet. Is this something I can use?
JD231
Do you reckon this is good to go? Would really appreciate your input. Thanks.

To whom it may concern:

Re PCN notice no:

I am writing in response to your e mail dated 14th December, where you rejected my informal appeal.

You state that considered everything in my letter, which cannot be the case because you did not respond to any points I had made, which needed addressing. You simply stated that you felt the PCN was issued correctly and that if I was turning left I still have to follow the rules. I had not suggested in any of my communication at all that I was turning left, I asked for the PCN to be cancelled because you had fettered my right to appeal, by not responding to any of my e mails requesting more details of the alleged contravention, including the exact location, rather than the vague locus description of 'Burnt Oak Broadway', and the TMO to prove the contravention exists. I have since discovered the exact location, although not because you answered my e mails, but other valid points still stand.

I still believe the PCN should be cancelled for the following reasons:

Contravention did not occur:
1) As I said above, you have failed to provide any evidence of this alleged contravention. The footage is very dark and does not show that my car is in a bus lane and the photo also does not show my car in any part of a bus lane.

2) I have repeatedly asked for the TMO that creates this contravention and you have failed to send it to me.

I first asked on 8th November - this e mail went unanswered

I again asked on the 9th November - again this e mail went unanswered.

I wrote again on the 15th November with my informal appeal, making it clear again that you still had not sent it to me. This time I received a reply telling me to write to the Parking Design Team, even though this is something your department should have dealt with.

I wrote to the Parking Design Team on the 24th November - again this letter went unanswered

I eventually received a response to my informal appeal on the 14th December - but yet again no TMO was enclosed despite me asking for it several times.

I would like to remind you at this point that in the case between Terence Chase v Westminster City Council, the adjudicator emphasised that a council has a legal duty to provide all evidence at the earliest opportunity to an appelant in order to cut down the number of appeals. Failure to do so is considered by the courts to be prejudicial.

As contraventions are created in the TMO and you have failed to supply the evidence of its legality, I can only assume that the contravention does not exist.

Non existent bus lane signs:
1) The traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 5, Road Markings 2003 states:

17.6 The legend BUS LANE to diagram 1048 should be marked in the lane at its commencement. It should also appear after every side road junction on the same side of the road as the bus lane, and, in conjunction with signs to diagram 959, at intervals not exceeding 300 m along uninterrupted lengths of the lane. The marking to diagram 1048.1 BUS AND (cycle symbol) LANE is prescribed specifically for use with contra-flow lanes if cycles are admitted (see para 17.12) and must not be used in with-flow lanes. (Own emphasis)

As you can see from the photo attached there are no such signs or road markings after the side road in photo one, and upon turning out of that road, it would be completely impossible to know that you had driven in a bus lane until you see the sign that says 'end of bus lane'.

As you know, properly signing bus lanes is a legal requirement on the council, and failure to do so means the bus lane cannot be enforced.

2) The traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 5, Road Markings 2003 also states:

17.8 Where a bus lane passes a junction with a major left-turning flow into the side road, the line to diagram 1049 should be replaced with a broken line to diagram 1010 (see figure 17-1). The broken line should commence 30 m in advance of the junction, and have the same width as the bus lane line. It should be accompanied by the advisory direction arrow to diagram 1050 (varied to show a left turn). Detailed dimensions of the permitted variants are shown on the working drawing P 1050 (see para 1.17). At other junctions, the diagram 1049 marking should be terminated approximately 10 m before the junction (or at the junction if the minor road is one-way towards the major road, recommencing beyond the junction in combination with a marking to diagram 1010 (see figure 17-1). (Own emphasis)

Again as you can see from photo one, the broken line does not stop 10m before the side road, again making this bus lane unenforceable.

Confusing Appeal Process:
The only responses I have had from you regarding this appeal, is two e mails simply stating that any appeal has to be made in writing to:

Parking Team
PO Box 27284
London
N11 1YB

One e mail even said I should not be e mailing his private account, which I had not done, I had simply e mailed both parking@barnet.gov.uk and buslanes@barnet.gov.uk. These are clearly not personal addresses, and if I send e mails to these addresses, which I had been advised to do initially, then I expect a better response than the one above.

As your PCNs state these as valid e mail addresses to appeal to, but I am now thoroughly confused as to what your appeals process actually is. Could I please have some clarity on this.

Please could you respond to the precise points I have laid out above and regard it as part of my informal appeal, rather than sending another generic letter.

Thank you in advance.

SchoolRunMum
Yes I would just email it and see what response you get again. The PCN clearly says you can email informal appeals.
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