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t-barx
Hello,

So i'm new here.. unfortunately, and i was hoping for a little advice.

I've received a PCN today in the post sad.gif for 'Being in a bus lane' although I never noticed that it was a bus lane because there are no road markings and the only signs are at the mini roundabout where i'm more focused on maneuvering around the roundabout than trying to read signs. I believe I also have 2 more to come because I've driven through that section of road about three times or so, maybe four ;(
And today as i was about to take this route again I was flagged down by a few people stood near this section of road who also unwittingly made the same mistake. They warned me I would receive a fine if I carried on, so i turned around and went the long way around. And coincidentally when I arrived home I had one waiting for me from a previous occasion

I have a dashcam installed in my car so please see this video and you will see the road, signs and lack of road markings and you'll also see the people flag me down and warn me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4NtcW6up-M...eature=youtu.be


Also here is the PCN:



I would really appreciate any advice on what I can do in this situation.

Thanks
t-barx
Also would I have a case due to there being no road markings?
Incandescent
I really do despair at councils sometimes. If you look closely at your video, you'll see that the signs are plonked down right on the mini-roundabaout exit, just where a motorist will be concentrating on other hazards and will likely miss the signs. And, of course, once you've missed the sign, there is nothing else to tell you. It's not clear from your video if there is an advance warning or not. If you look at your exit from the mini-roundabvout you'll see the blue bus-only signs. It is not a bus lane, but a road restricted to certain classes of traffic I think there is also a time plate too.

Give us a GSV reference please.

I suggest you appeal on inadequate signage, but don't expect the council to roll over, as they are only interested in the money, especially Nottingham council who are well known as ruthless, venal, and rapacious.
Gan
Is Google Earth out of date because I can't work out where this is ?
DancingDad
It's basically as Incandescent says.
The Bus lane is actually a bus only route at peak periods. Blocking a rat run to or from an industrial estate IIRC.
Signs can just be seen either side of the exit of the roundabout. Blue I think.

I don't know if there have been any successful challenges on signs for this location.
StrangeMan
GSV Link

I think I found it. Looks like the road layout has been changed since the PCN was originally issued.
t-barx
QUOTE (StrangeMan @ Sat, 30 Aug 2014 - 02:16) *
GSV Link

I think I found it. Looks like the road layout has been changed since the PCN was originally issued.


Yes that's the one, I think it changed some time around last year
homeruk
Am I not the only one who thinks that layout is even more confusing and easy to get caught out on?

Wonder how many people have been caught?

t-barx
I would imagine quite a few, especially if people stand there to warn other drivers, that just shows how unclear it is.
And lucky me, I've received 2 more PCNs in the post today sad.gif

I shall upload them soon
DancingDad
From your dashcam video, I'm not sure what advance warning signs there are??
Seems to be a big blue sign just before the junction but not sure what it said.

Unfortunately, your dashcam also shows the actual bus gate signs in glorious technicolour, right n the drive's line of vision so not certain by any means that an adjudicator could be persuaded that signs are inadequate. Sorry, MHO.
The Rookie
There should be advanced signage, logically as well as legally, after all once you are committed to the exit you have no other option but to take it even if you have seen the signs. If, for example, it was a no entry then the roundabout signs prior to the roundabout would have indicated that road exit should not be used.
t-barx
Sorry it's taken a while to put these up, but here are the 2 PCNs I received yesterday



Also there are a couple of signs that say bus lane camera on the long straight bit of road, but I always wondered why they were there because I never knew there was one so just assumed the signs were for a different part of road.

At the beginning of the roundabout there is a blue rectangular sign that says bus lane ahead, however when entering the roundabout there is a road which is directly ahead and I would have to take the first exit whereas the bus gate is to the right and not ahead. Ahead meaning 'further forward in space; in the line of one's forward motion' I figured that the bus lane would be somewhere after the first exit not to the right.
t-barx
So, today I received 2 more and I can't believe it, I thought I'd travelled through there 4 times at max but I guess I was mistaken.

That's a nice little earner Nottingham have there.

Does anybody know any of the legal traffic regulations about this?
From what I've read there should be an advanced warning sign 30m before the bus lane, although this isn't part of the regulations.

I found this:
15.32 The appropriate road markings for bus-only
streets and bus gates are diagrams 1048.3 BUS ONLY
and 1048.4 BUS AND (cycle symbol) ONLY. The latter
may be varied to BUS AND TAXI ONLY or BUS TAXI
(cycle symbol) ONLY. “AND” may be varied to “&”
when the legend is on three lines. No markings are
prescribed for use with the supplementary plates
to diagrams 618.1 and 620. This would not be
practicable; the descriptions of possible exceptions
can be lengthy (see paras 5.5 to 5.12), and moreover
these might apply only at certain times.

These signs make up the no vehicles between certain times except for access sign. So because there is a timed period this means that no markings are needed? :/

I'm genuinely considering paying somebody to help me here
r4pture
I had 2 of these the other week in the exact same place. sad.gif didnt have the time to fight them. but I know they a nice little money earner there.
t-barx
I don't really have the time either, but nor do I have a spare £150 to give to the council for a misleading road layout sad.gif
t-barx
Please could somebody look over this for me, it's a rough appeal letter that I have drafted, if there is anything i should change or include please let me know:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write in respect of PCN number ... issued on …

I would like to appeal the PCN on the basis of inadequate signage

1. There are no road markings that indicate the start of the temporary bus and cycle only road (between certain times) which are required when using the signs 953 and 953.2 (Currently in use), the exception to the requirement of road markings would be if signs 618.1 and 620 were used along with a time plate, which were previously displayed on this road in 2012 as shown below
Previously used sign:


Current signs in use and lack of road markings (Also people waving traffic down to warn them of this bus gate):


TSRGD Chapter 3: 15.32 The appropriate road markings for bus-only streets and bus gates are diagrams 1048.3 BUS ONLY and 1048.4 BUS AND (cycle symbol) ONLY. The latter may be varied to BUS AND TAXI ONLY or BUS TAXI (cycle symbol) ONLY. “AND” may be varied to “&” when the legend is on three lines. No markings are prescribed for use with the supplementary plates to diagrams 618.1 and 620. This would not be practicable; the descriptions of possible exceptions can be lengthy (see paras 5.5 to 5.12), and moreover these might apply only at certain times

TSRGD Chapter 5: 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.

TSRGD Chapter 5: 17.19 Bus gates restrict entry to one end of a street to buses only. Beyond the gate, other vehicles may be encountered. The entrance to a bus gate should be marked in the same manner as a bus-only street.

The DfT Operational Guidance to Local Authorities under Annex E1 advises:

E1 All local authorities are responsible for the accuracy and condition of the traffic
signs and road markings that identify parking restrictions in their area. The traffic
signs and road markings must conform strictly to the relevant regulations
(currently the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 – TSRGD –
and subsequent amendments) or have special authorisation from DfT. They
should also conform to the guidance set out in Chapters 3 and 5 of the Traffic
Signs Manual.

From these above points and references to the regulations, it is clear that the current layout is not up to the legal standard required in order for this section of road to be seen as a bus gate.

3- According to TSRGP Chapter 3, Paragraph 15.29, where the bus restriction does not apply at all times the signs to diagram 619 and 620 should be used, however they are not, so legally these signs cannot be enforced.

TSRGD Chapter 3: 15.29 Where either a one-way or two-way road is reserved for buses and cycles, the entry points should be indicated by signs to diagram 953. The other end of a one-way road must have “no entry” signs to diagram 616 in accordance with paras 4.39 to 4.41. Where the order permits taxis to use the road or excludes cycles, the sign to diagram 953 shall be varied accordingly. As with contra-flow bus lanes, this sign must be used in combination with the “Only” plate to diagram 953.2. Where the road is for the exclusive use of buses, the sign to diagram 953 is varied to show only the bus symbol. The “no entry” sign to diagram 616, with an “Except buses” plate, is not appropriate in this case as this combination should be used only for contra-flow bus lanes within a one-way street (see para 15.21).Where access to premises is required for other vehicles or where the bus-only restriction does not apply at all times, a sign to diagram 619 (no motor vehicles) with an exception plate to diagram 620 should be used (see paras 5.9 to 5.12). The plate should have the legend “Except buses and for access” and, if appropriate, include a time period.

2- According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of the word ‘ ahead’ is as follows:
“Further forward in space; in the line of one’s forward motion”
As shown in the images below, the sign indicates that the first exit of the roundabout would be for buses only, so for all I knew I shouldn’t have taken the first exit due to this, and due to the lack of road markings on the second exit I was unaware that the route I had taken was a bus gate because of the concentration on manoeuvring the roundabout I failed to see the sign (images 953 and 953.2 along with a time plate) which is the only indication given that this stretch of road cannot be used by any traffic except buses and bicycles




I therefore request that, based on the above, you cancel the PCN with immediate effect.

Yours faithfully.
.....



Also, what would I say to request information about the road plan and dft approval etc.?

any help is much appreciated
Thanks.
qafqa
BUS PLUG? That's a new one and an apt description.
A copy of the Traffic Order would be essential reading.
Consider deleting information about what was there
in the past, you have to deal with the present scheme.

Instead of leaping into the technical comments about
the signs after the roundabout start with the
woefully inadequate blue ahead sign on the approach
which is abysmal because, as you say and your screenshot shows,
from the drivers point of view the plug isn't ahead.

Maintain the description of the signs and their flaws
in sequence with the video so that the adjudicator can
refer to the signs and their problems in a linear way.

Describing the cause and effect of the blue sign
in an impersonal way will be equally effective and
by implication can extend the flaws in the scheme
to hundreds of other motorists.

How are you approaching the multiple PCN problem,
have you considered including a reference to the others
with their dates and numbers along with offering some
reasons for them to consider how they can use their discretion
and cancel all of them or at least limit their claim to one PCN.
Incandescent
I am beginning to think that the Highways Department in Nottingham CC is manned by complete lunatics ! Bus Plug indeed ! (No, I already think it !!!)

However, we already know they are ruthless, venal, and rapacious, this latest thread confirming this, and are totally out-of-control. Really somebody needs to go to jail, after which they might stop their harassing and bullying of the motorist. Clearly they have been captured by "swampies". I think the OP needs to take it all the way to TPT, even if the discount has to be foregone.
qafqa
Some interesting reading and even more reason to get the TRO.
Link to REPORT OF SERVICE DIRECTOR, HIGHWAYS BUS LANE ENFORCEMENT – NUTHALL BUS GATE 9 January 2014

Authorisation for one sign on the left and one sign on the right,
variations to the traffic signs regulations and DfT rubber stamp.
http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-3952.pdf
t-barx
Thanks,
I'll remove that paragraph from the appeal and change the order along with a request for the traffic order.
I wasn't sure whether I should appeal for them all at once or individually, but I was just afraid that if all appeals get rejected then I would end up with a fine of £300 all together.

Also is there actually a legal requirement that states the need for advanced warning? And am I correct about the requirement for road markings with the current signs?
qafqa
Unfortunately the rejection of representations is standard practice, previously Nottingham have produced comprehensive reasons why
so your technical approach is good.
That ahead sign is a serious flaw, I expect you could honestly write
that it was observed in passing and as the view of the road directly ahead showed no such restriction it has no direct relevance or link to the later turn into the bus gate.
Giving them several reasons to cancel the multiple PCN's in a way that gives them options will also need a supplementary sentence inviting them to give consideration and a request to justify why if they refuse.


DancingDad
On signs, there is no specific legal requirement to place signs beyond that whatever signs used must adequately convey the prohibition to the motorist.

So, councils will always say adequate signs are in place and motorists will always say that signs were inadequate.

At the end of the day an adjudicator will decide. It is not enough that signs comply with regulations, something that many councils and indeed some adjudicators will rely on. The signs must adequately convey the prohibition.
This includes warning signs if the point prohibition(bus gate in this case) can be come upon without adequate time for a motorist to react and obey the sign.

Take the ahead sign. Ambiguous but council will say that ahead is just general, the warning is that a restriction is approaching and is adequate.
But if there was a map type, directional board showing that the left turn had a restriction, would be so much clearer.

It is also not enough if councils say they cannot use ???? signs because they are not in regulations. The mechanism, via secretary of state (DFT) approval exists for none standard signs.
There are also ways, even if only by cross hatching to direct vehicles away from the bus gate. Road layout, whatever. If a motorist can drive through a restriction on consecutive days without realising it exists they are either unsafe to be driving or the restriction isn't clearly signed enough.
If multiple motorists are making the same mistake, the second option becomes more certain.
qafqa
An excellent explanation Dancing Dad.
Here is a thread that featured inadequate
warning information t-barx.
Bus Lane PCN - Stoney Rd Coventry
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=73554

Ideally you would see the traffic order before sending off
the representation, the highways department should
have a copy.

If the £300 is a concern an email to check if Nottingham will re-offer
the discount - when- the representations are refused would help
with the decision whether to buy them off early or risk the full
amount at adjudication.
t-barx
Thanks for the info Dancing Dad and qafqa, I really appreciate it.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll have the time to request and receive the traffic order, Ideally I need to submit the appeal today so I have a bit of time left in the discounted period by the time they get back to me.

However I have added that if they reject the appeal then I would like to request a copy, hopefully this is a little incentive for them to cancel it so they don't have to do more work smile.gif Unlikely, but I can hope
t-barx
I've also just noticed something interesting, as you can see on the third picture from the 1st PCN I posted up, there is a white van at the roundabout, and he also goes through the bus gate, and this is actually shown on the video evidence, maybe this could help my case if it goes to the adjudicator
t-barx
Update:

I received a response to my original appeal (appeal below excluding pictures shown previously)

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write in respect of PCN numbers....

I would like to appeal the PCN on the basis of inadequate signage

1- According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of the word ‘ ahead’ is as follows:
“Further forward in space; in the line of one’s forward motion”
As shown in the images below, the sign indicates that the road ahead would be restricted for buses only. The road ahead, in the line of my motion whilst driving being the first exit at the roundabout. This sign was observed in passing and as the view of the road directly ahead showed no such restriction it has no direct relevance or link to the later turn into the bus gate, and so there was no reasonable advanced warning for this bus gate.
Sign:


Dashcam still image of driving direction (Sign above on the left of the image)

2. There are no road markings that indicate the start of the temporary bus and cycle only road (between certain times) which are required when using the signs 953 and 953.2 (Currently in use), the exception to the requirement of road markings would be if signs 618.1 and 620 were used along with a time plate. As you will see in the image below, there are people warning other motorists about this bus gate, I also have the video including audio of this event. This alone shows that the layout is not clear enough because members of the public are having to notify other people.
Current signs in use and lack of road markings (Also people waving traffic down to warn them of this bus gate)
TSRGD Chapter 3: 15.32 The appropriate road markings for bus-only streets and bus gates are diagrams 1048.3 BUS ONLY and 1048.4 BUS AND (cycle symbol) ONLY. The latter may be varied to BUS AND TAXI ONLY or BUS TAXI (cycle symbol) ONLY. “AND” may be varied to “&” when the legend is on three lines. No markings are prescribed for use with the supplementary plates to diagrams 618.1 and 620. This would not be practicable; the descriptions of possible exceptions can be lengthy (see paras 5.5 to 5.12), and moreover these might apply only at certain times

TSRGD Chapter 5: 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.

TSRGD Chapter 5: 17.19 Bus gates restrict entry to one end of a street to buses only. Beyond the gate, other vehicles may be encountered. The entrance to a bus gate should be marked in the same manner as a bus-only street.
The DfT Operational Guidance to Local Authorities under Annex E1 advises:

E1 All local authorities are responsible for the accuracy and condition of the traffic
signs and road markings that identify parking restrictions in their area. The traffic
signs and road markings must conform strictly to the relevant regulations
(currently the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 – TSRGD –
and subsequent amendments) or have special authorisation from DfT. They
should also conform to the guidance set out in Chapters 3 and 5 of the Traffic
Signs Manual.
From these above points and references to the regulations, it is clear that the current layout is not to up the standard required in order for this section of road to reasonably inform drivers of this bus gate.
3- According to TSRGP Chapter 3, Paragraph 15.29, where the bus restriction does not apply at all times the signs to diagram 619 and 620 should be used, however they are not.
TSRGD Chapter 3: 15.29 Where either a one-way or two-way road is reserved for buses and cycles, the entry points should be indicated by signs to diagram 953. The other end of a one-way road must have “no entry” signs to diagram 616 in accordance with paras 4.39 to 4.41. Where the order permits taxis to use the road or excludes cycles, the sign to diagram 953 shall be varied accordingly. As with contra-flow bus lanes, this sign must be used in combination with the “Only” plate to diagram 953.2. Where the road is for the exclusive use of buses, the sign to diagram 953 is varied to show only the bus symbol. The “no entry” sign to diagram 616, with an “Except buses” plate, is not appropriate in this case as this combination should be used only for contra-flow bus lanes within a one-way street (see para 15.21).Where access to premises is required for other vehicles or where the bus-only restriction does not apply at all times, a sign to diagram 619 (no motor vehicles) with an exception plate to diagram 620 should be used (see paras 5.9 to 5.12). The plate should have the legend “Except buses and for access” and, if appropriate, include a time period.

I would also like to refer you to the video evidence for the PCN with number NQ..., you will notice that a white van also drives through the bus gate during the time that the video is running. It would not be reasonable to assume that 2 drivers in such a short time would both be willing to drive on a restricted section of road during it’s prescribed hours and risk receiving a fine.

I therefore request that you use your discretion and cancel these PCNs due to the inadequate signage and warning of this bus gate. If I had known that this was a bus gate I most definitely wouldn't have travelled down it once let alone five times. Also if it had just been one PCN I would have taken it as a lesson learned and paid straight away, but unfortunately with there being 5 I have no choice but to appeal against this because I genuinely don’t have the money to pay for these.
If this appeal is rejected I would also like to request a copy of the traffic order and road plan for this area please.

Yours faithfully.



As expected I received my 5 notice of rejections for each PCN, all with the same wording, so i've only posted up one notice, they have also sent me a few pictures of the area etc. which I shall post up soon, and a couple of other bits of writing all to be shown shortly.


DancingDad
So where are these clear, advance warning signs on your dashcam video ?

Or did the adjudicator receive a nice evidence pack with lots of nice photos in it that the adjudicator found compelling?

To illustrate the latter, I had an experience with a tram gate in Notts City.
At the hearing the adjudicator went through the evidence pack with me, loads of very nicely posed photos of map type directional signs and pre-warning signs.
Where is this sign says the adjudicator pointing to one? No idea says I. But it's not on the route I took, these are the signs that are present there! (Basically, none)
When we (adjudicator and I) worked it out, the majority of signs were on other roads leading to the tram gate and nothing to do with the route I had clearly stated I used.
Once the adjudicator realised that bl$$dy great chunks of the evidence pack were totally unrelated to my case, it was an easy coast to victory.
t-barx
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Thu, 18 Sep 2014 - 21:36) *
So where are these clear, advance warning signs on your dashcam video ?

Or did the adjudicator receive a nice evidence pack with lots of nice photos in it that the adjudicator found compelling?

To illustrate the latter, I had an experience with a tram gate in Notts City.
At the hearing the adjudicator went through the evidence pack with me, loads of very nicely posed photos of map type directional signs and pre-warning signs.
Where is this sign says the adjudicator pointing to one? No idea says I. But it's not on the route I took, these are the signs that are present there! (Basically, none)
When we (adjudicator and I) worked it out, the majority of signs were on other roads leading to the tram gate and nothing to do with the route I had clearly stated I used.
Once the adjudicator realised that bl$$dy great chunks of the evidence pack were totally unrelated to my case, it was an easy coast to victory.


I think I passed one at 17 seconds, but these signs lead up to the one at the roundabout which states buses only ahead, ahead indicating the first exit. So even if the signs are there, nobody would avoid a whole road just because a section further ahead that isn't relevant to their route is restricted

The adjudicator is the next step for me I think

But also, when is the date that this notice was served? I see a date that they posted it and when the PCN was served, but not when the notice was served. Apparently I have 14 days from when it was served to pay the £30




DancingDad
Just love the way they take photos of the signs.
And not one from the driver's viewpoint ?

Date of service is second business day after date of posting. So if posted on a Monday, Served on Wednesday. If on a Thursday, the following Monday. (unless bank holidays sneak in)

Have I got myself twisted or are those seven pictured signs and the map all on the other road you came to the island from?
qafqa
A copy of the traffic order may turn up some anomalies.
After seeing a screenprint of the Googlemap the adjudicator could
decide that a simple ahead sign misinforms the motorist.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9897178,-...18759,19z?hl=en

Here is a recent decision by an adjudicator sitting at the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
Driver has £30 'bus gate' fine overturned because of unclear warnings
Article Published On 20/08/2014 14:33:00
Published By Nottingham Post
http://www.ournottinghamshire.co.uk/newsar...articleid=24022

Driver Steve S......... has had a fine for driving through a 'bus gate' overturned by a tribunal because the warning signs were not clear enough.
The 55-year-old was caught by a camera turning into the 'bus gate', a road where only buses are allowed. The ban prevents cars accessing Nuthall roundabout from Nottingham Road. Nottinghamshire County Council only began enforcing the restriction, applicable Monday to Friday from 4pm to 6.30pm including Bank Holidays, earlier this year.

Three-hundred drivers have been caught out on Bank Holidays alone this year, including Mr S.......... He was snapped at just before 5.45pm on Monday, May 5. But he argued the warnings were not clear enough and his case went to a Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

Earlier this month that tribunal ruled in his favour, meaning he does not have to pay the £30 fine. He said: "It took me a lot of hours filling in the tribunal form but this is much more than about the money aspect."I was extremely shocked when I got the fine through. The fact that they are using this bus gate on Bank Holidays is crazy. "On that day there were very few buses and there was no rush-hour traffic."He added: "It is nice to have won the case. I wonder how many more of the 300 people who have been fined may come forward now."

Tribunal adjudicator Stephen Knapp wrote to Mr S......... , of Nuthall, on August 14 to notify him of his decision. His decision for read: "It is for the council to demonstrate that there was adequate signing of the restriction but the quality of the evidence about this is poor. "Mr Knapp said there were two signs in place, but added: "Based on this evidence my judgement is that the two signs were not readily visible to approaching drivers and could not be regarded as adequate."

Nuthall councillor Philip Owen said: "I believe the Council should refund all penalty charges to which this mistake applies." The county council said extra signs have been put in since Mr S......... was caught.
A*** W*********, service director for highways, said: "Extra signs were put in at the end of June on the approach to the island and local people are well aware that the bus gate is there."

QUOTE
local people are well aware that the bus gate is there.

Broxtowe Enews 29th June 2014
Nuthall Bus Plug
Notts County Council have revealed that so far 297 fines have been handed out to drivers using the bus plug in Nuthall.
Of these 96 were given to Nuthall residents.
DancingDad
QUOTE
local people are well aware that the bus gate is there."


I'm aware of the potholes in my street but that doesn't excuse the council from fixing them!
t-barx
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 19 Sep 2014 - 19:43) *
Just love the way they take photos of the signs.
And not one from the driver's viewpoint ?

Date of service is second business day after date of posting. So if posted on a Monday, Served on Wednesday. If on a Thursday, the following Monday. (unless bank holidays sneak in)

Have I got myself twisted or are those seven pictured signs and the map all on the other road you came to the island from?


Sorry I'm not too sure which road you mean by 'the other road' However sometimes I would drive through the petrol station to skip a little traffic as shown here https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9871099,-...IHi1OHQ!2e0 and then follow the road up



QUOTE (qafqa @ Sat, 20 Sep 2014 - 10:45) *
A copy of the traffic order may turn up some anomalies.
After seeing a screenprint of the Googlemap the adjudicator could
decide that a simple ahead sign misinforms the motorist.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9897178,-...18759,19z?hl=en

Here is a recent decision by an adjudicator sitting at the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
Driver has £30 'bus gate' fine overturned because of unclear warnings
Article Published On 20/08/2014 14:33:00
Published By Nottingham Post
http://www.ournottinghamshire.co.uk/newsar...articleid=24022

Driver Steve S......... has had a fine for driving through a 'bus gate' overturned by a tribunal because the warning signs were not clear enough.
The 55-year-old was caught by a camera turning into the 'bus gate', a road where only buses are allowed. The ban prevents cars accessing Nuthall roundabout from Nottingham Road. Nottinghamshire County Council only began enforcing the restriction, applicable Monday to Friday from 4pm to 6.30pm including Bank Holidays, earlier this year.

Three-hundred drivers have been caught out on Bank Holidays alone this year, including Mr S.......... He was snapped at just before 5.45pm on Monday, May 5. But he argued the warnings were not clear enough and his case went to a Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

Earlier this month that tribunal ruled in his favour, meaning he does not have to pay the £30 fine. He said: "It took me a lot of hours filling in the tribunal form but this is much more than about the money aspect."I was extremely shocked when I got the fine through. The fact that they are using this bus gate on Bank Holidays is crazy. "On that day there were very few buses and there was no rush-hour traffic."He added: "It is nice to have won the case. I wonder how many more of the 300 people who have been fined may come forward now."

Tribunal adjudicator Stephen Knapp wrote to Mr S......... , of Nuthall, on August 14 to notify him of his decision. His decision for read: "It is for the council to demonstrate that there was adequate signing of the restriction but the quality of the evidence about this is poor. "Mr Knapp said there were two signs in place, but added: "Based on this evidence my judgement is that the two signs were not readily visible to approaching drivers and could not be regarded as adequate."

Nuthall councillor Philip Owen said: "I believe the Council should refund all penalty charges to which this mistake applies." The county council said extra signs have been put in since Mr S......... was caught.
A*** W*********, service director for highways, said: "Extra signs were put in at the end of June on the approach to the island and local people are well aware that the bus gate is there."

QUOTE
local people are well aware that the bus gate is there.

Broxtowe Enews 29th June 2014
Nuthall Bus Plug
Notts County Council have revealed that so far 297 fines have been handed out to drivers using the bus plug in Nuthall.
Of these 96 were given to Nuthall residents.


That's some very interesting information, do you think the adjudicator's decision will be published officially somewhere? I've searched on google but can't seem to find much, I'm amazed that you've found these, I guess I haven't been looking in the right places.

I think that if the only difference to the decision above is that they've put these advanced warning signs up, then I should be in with a good chance. However if this point is dismissed then I don't have much else to go on

Also I've sent the following request regarding the freedom of information act through whatdotheyknow.com I used the date 1st of July because they supposedly put the advanced signs up at the end of June (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/nottinghamshire_county_council):

Dear Nottinghamshire County Council,

Could you please provide me the following information:

i) Number of PCN notices issued since July 1st to the
drivers of motor vehicles for 'being in a bus lane' on Nottingham
Road, Nuthall also known as
'Nuthall Bus Gate.'

ii) Number of those PCN notices in i) above that were paid without
challenge by the drivers concerned?

iii) Number of those PCN notices in i) above that were challenged
by motorists and the subsequent outcome of those challenges?

iv) Number of those PCN notices in i) above that were issued to
Nuthall residents

Yours faithfully,

Mr Barker
DancingDad
For some reason I thought you were approaching the mini island and bus gate from another road, my mistake.

However, the NOR supplies 7 photos with a map showing where each of the signs is placed. Photos are dated 2013 and your dashcam showed not one of the temporary boards that they show.
So why include them? They are either there or they are not. But sending false information, proof as such that you are a dozy driver and here are all the signs you drove past, is a little naughty to say the least.

If you get the chance, I'd like to see you able to present your series of photos, of each of the positions on the map, showing what the driver sees and that these signs, proof of adequate warning are not there.
This is more then just signs and lines or consideration of challenges. It's sending out totally incorrect information to justify their position.
t-barx
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 20 Sep 2014 - 17:58) *
For some reason I thought you were approaching the mini island and bus gate from another road, my mistake.

However, the NOR supplies 7 photos with a map showing where each of the signs is placed. Photos are dated 2013 and your dashcam showed not one of the temporary boards that they show.
So why include them? They are either there or they are not. But sending false information, proof as such that you are a dozy driver and here are all the signs you drove past, is a little naughty to say the least.

If you get the chance, I'd like to see you able to present your series of photos, of each of the positions on the map, showing what the driver sees and that these signs, proof of adequate warning are not there.
This is more then just signs and lines or consideration of challenges. It's sending out totally incorrect information to justify their position.


Should I take photos of the signs from the route I took, or look specifically for all of the signs? and also take a photo from the road looking forward? or would the full route on dashcam video suffice?

With the route going through the petrol station I wouldn't see images 1 or 3, however I believe I may pass the others, but I can't be 100% sure
DancingDad
Be sure.
This is what I pointed out that Notts City council have done on the tramgates.

If a set of photos like that end up in the evidence pack, an adjudicator has little option but to accept them as actually there. Unless you challenge and give good reason for them to be in doubt.
If they are there, any argument on lack of warning signs fails.
If they are not there, not only is the argument more justified but the council has told porky pies, tried to mislead and been naughty. Adjudicators do not like that.
Take stills from your dashcam from a run one Sunday afternoon. Or stop and take photos at each position. If they are not there, prove it to the adjudicator.
qafqa
Dancing Dad has described their technique perfectly, previous rejections
had a similar tactic along the lines of the adjudicator agrees with us about the signs and lines. I expect that after DD won his case it was not mentioned in future rejections.
ISTR the notts police logo also used to feature on council paperwork...
Maybe they caught the wrong officer and were offered words of advice.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal cases are a public record and should be
available on request, unlike PATAS they aren't online so need the
traditional approach. ISTR that in the past they have been very helpful.
The TRO is also worth a look.
QUOTE
I think that if the only difference to the decision above is that they've put these advanced warning signs up, then I should be in with a good chance.

DD has effectively covered the dodgy so called warning signs.
The one in your video is misinforming the driver, if it said at the mini roundabout there is a bus gate on the second exit their sign could be considered more accurate. As was said earlier in the thread, a better option would be a clear pictorial representation.
t-barx
I've just got back home from taking more photos today, I shall show them below:

Here are the photos provided by the council first of all
[/URL]

These council photos are dated 2013 as pointed out earlier in the thread.

Photo 1


Photo 2



Photo 3



tbarx901
Sorry, couldnt upload more photos to previous post so had to do this.

Photo 4




Image 5 shown by the council is there as shown on their photo

Photo 6


Photo 7

As you can see, only one of the signs is visible, the other being covered by an overgrown tree.



I have also recorded a route which could be taken, however none of the routes would see all of the signs shown:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J950oDc4Ul4...eature=youtu.be
t-barx
Today I received a pdf copy of the adjudicator's decision for this article: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Driver-30-bu...tail/story.html

This seems very promising

DancingDad
Excellent.
No decision is binding but they can be very persuasive.
qafqa
A superb example of a very thorough and logical adjudication, it's a shame it wasn't cited in the NoR to balance the case they quoted and ensure that no undue pressure was being applied by the council.

On the PCN dated 19th August what was the time of the alleged offence, exactly as printed on the document.

Your photographs show the ahead sign problem better than the map can, even after tweaking the plan to align with drivers view the photos convey the lack of any connection between the unauthorised Buses only ahead sign and bus gate far more effectively than the graphic.
t-barx
QUOTE (qafqa @ Mon, 22 Sep 2014 - 16:05) *
A superb example of a very thorough and logical adjudication, it's a shame it wasn't cited in the NoR to balance the case they quoted and ensure that no undue pressure was being applied by the council.

On the PCN dated 19th August what was the time of the alleged offence, exactly as printed on the document.

Your photographs show the ahead sign problem better than the map can, even after tweaking the plan to align with drivers view the photos convey the lack of any connection between the unauthorised Buses only ahead sign and bus gate far more effectively than the graphic.



The exact time shown on the 19th august PCN is '17:00'

And I agree, however I shall attach the map diagram along with the photo when preparing my evidence just for an extra reference
qafqa
The time on the ANPR pictures isn't 1700, there is quite a discrepancy
between them and the PCN. It would be interesting to see if the requirements of the current TRO for the bus gate are as specific about
the time as in this one from 2011:

G11. A PCN must state: -
(b) the date and time at which the Authorised Officer first noticed that a
contravention of this Order had occurred in respect of the date known as the Contravention Date


NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL (VARIOUS LOCATIONS, CITY OF NOTTINGHAM CONSOLIDATION AREA) (NO.2) (BUS/TRAM LANES AND GATEWAYS) TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER 2011 (TMP 6910M)
http://www.nottinghaminsight.org.uk/d/9523...ent-(Bus-Lane)/

The time disparity in that PCN could be included in the appeal, see post #60 and #62 by astralite in this thread: File of cases to assist arguments, listed under various headings
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...90145&st=40
"….. I am persuaded by this and by the lack of any compelling evidence from the authority to show otherwise, that the signage at this location is not adequate.
In addition I note that the recording shows that contravention actually occurred at 08.01.35, whereas the time given in the PCN is 08.02. By 08.02 the vehicle had passed the alleged contravention site, and was stationary at the next junction.
As this is a moving traffic alleged contravention there is a need for complete accuracy as to time and location which is not satisfied on this occasion. The PCN should not stand on this ground also. The appeal is allowed."
t-barx
QUOTE (qafqa @ Mon, 22 Sep 2014 - 18:58) *
The time on the ANPR pictures isn't 1700, there is quite a discrepancy
between them and the PCN. It would be interesting to see if the requirements of the current TRO for the bus gate are as specific about
the time as in this one from 2011:

G11. A PCN must state: -
(b) the date and time at which the Authorised Officer first noticed that a
contravention of this Order had occurred in respect of the date known as the Contravention Date


NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL (VARIOUS LOCATIONS, CITY OF NOTTINGHAM CONSOLIDATION AREA) (NO.2) (BUS/TRAM LANES AND GATEWAYS) TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER 2011 (TMP 6910M)
http://www.nottinghaminsight.org.uk/d/9523...ent-(Bus-Lane)/

The time disparity in that PCN could be included in the appeal, see post #60 and #62 by astralite in this thread: File of cases to assist arguments, listed under various headings
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...90145&st=40
"….. I am persuaded by this and by the lack of any compelling evidence from the authority to show otherwise, that the signage at this location is not adequate.
In addition I note that the recording shows that contravention actually occurred at 08.01.35, whereas the time given in the PCN is 08.02. By 08.02 the vehicle had passed the alleged contravention site, and was stationary at the next junction.
As this is a moving traffic alleged contravention there is a need for complete accuracy as to time and location which is not satisfied on this occasion. The PCN should not stand on this ground also. The appeal is allowed."



That is another very interesting point, I've reviewed the evidence video again for this PCN (I'm not sure if I can somehow save this or if the council will have to present it to the adjudicator) and the video actually starts at 17:00:35 and I don't pass the signs until 17:00:43.
In all honesty I wouldn't have thought that the time in seconds would have been anything which could be relied on in an appeal however I'll look into those links that you have posted soon.
Thanks again
t-barx
Quick update,
My freedom of information request has been answered:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bus_...incoming-569772
DancingDad
The useful bit is 3800 in 3 months
So in round figures, say 40 plus drivers a day drive through the gate during its operating hours. (two and a half hours).
So about one every 4 minutes.
It would be reasonable to assume a number of them saw the signs, shrugged and drove through anyway.
But it is also very reasonable to assume that a number simply did not see the signs or realise the import.

What would be a very reasonable conclusion is that it isn't working.
And penalising drivers is simply penalising them for a contravention that the authority have failed to make clear
t-barx
another quick update, received the evidence which features these new photos and new signs, the sneaky people. How can they use new signs as evidence when they weren't there before?
t-barx
Also, here's the TRO
http://tro.parking-adjudication.gov.uk/files/NQ47.pdf
Incandescent
You need to (MUST), emphasise the unlawfulness of the evidence they have presented at the TPT. This is malfeasance and somebody has already gone to jail for it in Manchester, (some years ago), for doctoring photos of signs.
DancingDad
QUOTE (Incandescent @ Thu, 23 Oct 2014 - 23:09) *
You need to (MUST), emphasise the unlawfulness of the evidence they have presented at the TPT. This is malfeasance and somebody has already gone to jail for it in Manchester, (some years ago), for doctoring photos of signs.


Absolutely.
Compare the "new" photos/signs with the ones they sent against your earlier request/challenge and your own photos.
Prepare a little file, three pages, "new" "earlier" "your own" that you can lay out on the table in front of the adjudicator.
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