I hope someone could shed some light on this - on 11 july I received a PCN through my door for alledgly being in a bus lane. From the pcn the picture attached shows my car two wheels (front and back) going over the bus lane for only a split second whilst I was stuck in traffic.
The day after I received the pcn I phoned the council to send me clearer images of my vehicle, the next day I did receive close up of my car but the images supplied does not show my car in the bus lane and the close up does not show my registration number.
Today I received another set of images but this time its not my car it's meant for someone else. I'm sure this error makes my pcn void am I right??
Here is the 1st letter I wrote to the council to have my PCN cancelled because its unlawful.
I was issued a PCN on the grounds that I was in a Bus Lane on Barking Road East Ham E6 on 20/06/2008 at 18:22 , however from the PCN which I received dated 11/07/2008 I strongly object to this penalty and will take it further if need be.
I object to this PCN issued against me on the following grounds:
1. The CCTV footage on the PCN is very unclear and can’t make out which vehicle is mine from the picture I don’t see any vehicles driving in the bus lane.
2. Section 1 of the ‘’Road Traffic Offenders act 1988’’, requires a notice of intended prosecution to be sent within 14 days. If a PCN is sent after 14 days it can not act as a notice of intended prosecution, and it is my opinion that you can not legally continue. My alleged contravention took place on 20/06/2008 and the date I received the PCN was 11/07/2008. ( I have included a section of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 for your information)
3. Under the ‘’Code of Practice for Operation of CCTV Enforcement Cameras in the (London/Royal/Borough/City) of (Borough)’’ver. 3.2 June 2006 -
Section 2.4 11 in the above code of practice states that:
“Each contravention will be reviewed on the working video to decide whether it is clear and indisputable. Appropriate details of the vehicle and circumstances involved in clear and indisputable contraventions are recorded, and registered keeper details obtained. A PCN is then sent to the registered keeper.”
My PCN is not clear and you cannot make out which vehicle is mine. The bus lane is clearly visible in the picture but no vehicles are actually in the bus lane restricting access to buses. All you can see is a typical Friday Barking Road traffic.
“”Section 2.4.12 it states that All PCNs are to be issued within 14 days of the contravention and should be sent by first class post. The PCN is deemed to have been served when it would be delivered in the ordinary course of post”.
A Valid PCN should have been sent to me on 3/07/2008 and not on the 11/07/2008 eight days after the 14 day expiry period.
A document published by the Department for Transport “Provisional Guidance on bus lane (including Tramway) enforcement in England outside London (November 2005 revised 2008)
Section 6.19.under ‘’Serving of Penalty Charge Notices’’
In this paragraph it states the following:
‘’In London, authorities have set themselves a voluntary target of 14 days from the date of the contravention”
I don’t see why Newham council has the right to opt out from this as they have volunteered to this.
4. 4) There are no lawful signs warning of camera enforcement placed at the beginning of the bus lane in Barking Road as you come off the A13.
London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee has approved the adoption of the Code of Practice on CCTV Enforcement by all London Councils (including Newham Council). This Code of Practice (version 3.2 – June 2006) states in paragraph 2.3.5:
“Relevant camera enforcement signs should be displayed in areas where the system operates. The signs will not define the field of view of the cameras but will advise that CCTV camera enforcement is taking place in the area.”
This means that drivers enter the CCTV field of view without having passed or seen a warning sign placed for their attention.
5. Under paragraph 3 (a) of S4 of the London Local Authorities Act 1996 a PCN is required to state "the grounds on which the council believe that the penalty charge is payable with respect to the vehicle". This PCN does not do so. Part of the grounds must by definition be to describe the location in which the alleged contravention occurred.
The alleged contravention is described as "being in a bus lane in Barking Road at 18:22:00 on 20/6/2008 by camera operator 911 who was observing real time images from a roadside camera. . . "
Barking Rd contains a number of bus lanes and it is therefore necessary for Newham Council to state which one is involved in the alleged contravention in order to discharge their statutory obligations. They have not done so.
Newham Council may seek to argue that it can be determined from the images, however this is not reasonable. It is not appropriate for Newham Council to rely on motorists interpreting their images and inferring from them the location in which they are alleged to have committed a contravention. In any event the inclusion of images is not a statutory requirement and Newham Council obligation is to "state" certain matters and this means "provide in words".
Notwithstanding the above, the balance of this appeal is based on my inference as to the location and the provision of my arguments is not to be taken as a waiver or estoppels of my right to amend my representations should Newham Council seek to argue that the location I have inferred is in fact incorrect.
On the above basis I therefore request that you cancel this PCN as it is un-lawful. could I also suggest that Newham council retrain all of its CCTV operators so they follow its strict code of procedures in future which has to be legally followed at all times before issuing a PCN to motorist and should not be used as a tool to generate revenue which it sadly does. Also better CCTV Enforcement signs are displayed on Barking Road legally and at present it clearly does not.
6. The picture of the alleged contravention supplied on the PCN do not conform to The Bus Lane Enforcement Camera Handbook published by the Home Office.
This states as an “operational requirement” in item 5.1.2 that:
“Every image of the offence shall show, in addition to the offending vehicle, in the order given: the date in days, month, and year, the time in hours, minutes, and seconds, the day of the week, location and frame count from the beginning of the recording. The data shall be imprinted on the image or included in the violation record at the time the offence is recorded.”
The images do not show all the required data and do not show it in the order given.
Only “approved devices” can be used for CCTV enforcement. The failure to show the correct information and in the correct order must mean that the device used was not approved and therefore not lawful and the images are inadmissible to show any contravention or alleged contravention. The failure of the PCN to show lawful images renders it void and therefore there is no evidence of a breach of the bus lane order or regulation.
Further the stills do not conform to the requirement in the Code of Practice on CCTV Enforcement (item 2.5.24) that “each still image will be given a unique serial number” as none is shown.
Should these representations be rejected then please treat this as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following documents:
a) A copy of the bus lane order or regulation giving effect to the Bus Lane.
b) A copy of the Safety Audit for this road layout.
c) A copy of the engineer’s scale diagrams showing the layout of this Bus Lane, the road markings and the signage (including warnings of camera enforcement).
d) Copies of any approvals of deviations of signage from TSRGD.
e) Logs of maintenance visits verifying existence and condition of the signs.
f) Certification of type approval of the CCTV device.
g) Details of the number of times that the videotape used has been degaussed and reused.
h) A copy of the Camera Enforcement logbook recording the alleged contravention.
i) Copies of the still images showing all the required information in the correct order.
j) The number of PCNs issued by Newham Council in respect of this location.
k) The number of PCNs issued by Newham Council in respect of this location and cancelled by them following informal challenges.
l) The number of PCNs issued by Newham Council in respect of this location and cancelled by them following formal appeal to them.
m) The number of PCNs issued by Newham Council in respect of this location and cancelled following appeal to a PATAS adjudicator.
n) The number of PCNs issued by Newham Council in respect of this location and not pursued by them for any other reason.
have I got a good chance of having this cancelled. And is there anu ideas what I can put in my second letter, this is what I have wrote so far:
Following my telephone conversation with one of your operator on 12/07/2008, I requested clearer images showing my vehicle being in a bus lane because the picture attached on the original PCN was not clear. Your operator acknowledged my request and informed me that she will be sending out clearer images of my vehicle by first class post.
Today on 22/07/2008 I received a set of images showing a vehicle being in a bus lane however the images I receive does not show my car being in a bus lane but shows another vehicle, in which I find careless of Newham Council. The images received show a vehicle with a registration number of ‘D...... My registration is T......, nobody in this household owns a vehicle with the above registration number.
I suggest you cancel this PCN as you have not been supplied with correct and clear details of the contravention in the first place.
This letter is my 2nd Correspondence to Newham Council concerning this matter.
1st Correspondence was sent by post on 17/07/2008 & by fax on 22/07/2008.
(I have included my first correspondence with this letter)