If any one can help or advice this would be much appreciated. Received a PCN from Kingston Council for driving in a bus lane (well the wife, but still a fine)!!!!! Photos show our car in the lane but upon re visiting the road I took pictures and sent of an appeal, they have rejected it saying all is good and I am wrong.
A copy of my letter is copied below and I have also copied two pictures of the bus lane. Any advice good or bad welcome. Should I now pay the fine and put this down to bad experience or should I continue the appeal and risk paying £130.00....Thank you in advance.
Copy of letter :
To whom this may concern,
I was disappointed to have received in the post from your council a ticket stating I was driving in a bus lane at a time I should not have been. I wish to appeal on the following grounds :
Layout of road and bus lane :
The bus lane is part of a bus lane for vehicles travelling Eastbound from Kingston towards Tolworth. The bus lane starts along the Ewell Road just after the junction with Broomfield Road. At this point the sign indicates the bus lane is for use by buses only between -7pm Mon - Sat. The bus lane continues for approx 140 metres before it crosses the junction with Derby Road. Just after this junction there is another sign stating the same information with the bus lane continuing for a approx a further 80 metres. The road then has a traffic light controlled crossing on it. After this, Ewell Road meets a spur of Ewell road. At this junction for no apparent reason the bus lane suddenly changes from as mentioned to a higher restriction been Mon - Sat 7am-7pm for approx 70 metres. The bus lane continues over the junction with King Charles Road for approx 30 metres before ending and that bus lane enters a normal traffic flow lane with no more bus lanes in place for approx 1 mile at least for any buses travelling this direction.
Grounds for appeal :
1. The road markings shown in the picture you have sent do not clearly mark out as a bus lane. Looking in detail at the image it appears to be extremely worn road paint and what should be a letter 'L' for lane appears to be a mixture of two letters, there can be no dispute that the road text is very worn and could not be stated at this moment in time of the alleged offence happening with the evidence put forward to me that the bus lane was clearly marked out at this point as such in regards to road paint. Please also see attached photo 'BUS1' which shows the bus lane and the text LANE is very worn with the 'E' almost non-existent.
2. There is no clear reason at all for the bus lane to change for the last 100 metres of its service from a 4-7pm to a 7am - 7pm. The fact that cameras point on this section of the bus lane would, in my opinion, be only for the reason to catch drivers out who have made an error. This is not the purpose of a bus lane. Bus lanes are to ensure the free flowing of buses in busy traffic areas. However, this section of road, all 100 metres of it are no busier than the previous 220 metres. The picture you have sent as evidence of an offence is clear in its self that no other traffic is visible, why would a bus lane suddenly need to be changed from a 4pm start down to a 7am start. There is insufficient traffic at this time of day to justify this and certainly no obstructions anywhere to cause a delay to the bus network.
3. There is absolutely no sign of any other vehicle at all present in either the bus lane or lane 2 of Ewell Road. There would be no benefit gained from me driving in the bus lane and certainly not something I have ever done or would do intentionally.
4. The front off side wheel of my car is pictured on the solid white lane, one second later the same wheel is pictured again and appears to have moved more towards entering lane 2. I have no knowledge of this day so cannot say either way if I continued on the lane or remained in it for its full 100 metres.
5. To make a bus lane legal and enforceable by a local authority, Bus lane sign 958 by law has to be displayed at least 30 metres before the start of any bus lane in a thirty mile per hour speed limit. The only sign before the start of this bus lane is 25 metres from the start of the bus lane taper at the junction with the spur of Ewell Road. I have copied a section from transportpolicy.org.uk which states the following 'At the start of the bus lane, one lane of traffic has to merge into the other lanes. If not enough distance is provided for this process then congestion will be formed at this point, rather defeating the point of having a bus lane. DfT (Department for Transport) guidance is a taper of no sharper a gradient than 1 in 10. This means that a 3m bus lanes requires a taper no shorter than 30m.' This is to highlight the fact that a taper part of a bus lane is referred to as a bus lane and therefore should be treated as a bus lane which would in this situation make the enforcement of this bus lane unlawful as the first and only sign prior to the start of the lane is less than 30 metres from the start of the prescribed lane. It should also be noted that your taper does not meet the required standard and for the bus lane which does measure 3 metres across the tape is only 18 metres, a shortfall of 12 metres. It should also be noted that there is plenty of road space to have the correct size taper painted but this has been painted not in respect to guidelines issued.
6. The following is cut and paste from 'Traffic signs manual chapter 3 regulatory signs (2008) isbn 9780115529252 :
15.12..... Where there is more than one bus lane along a particular length of road or within the same geographical area, the times of operation should be consistent, where possible, to avoid driver confusion. (NOTE - This is not the case with two very separate times in a very short distance)
15.9..... Advance indication of a with-flow bus lane is provided by the sign to diagram 958. Where the speed limit is 20mph or 30mph, the sign should be sited 30 m in advance of the lead-in taper formed by the road marking to diagram 1010, with a minimum clear visibility distance of 45 m (NOTE - YOUR SIGN IS 21 METRES BEFORE THE LEAD IN TAPER, short by 9 metres)
14.60....Research has shown that the greater the number of signs that drivers are presented with simultaneously, the greater the difficulty they are likely to have in assimilating all the information. The problem of dealing with information overload increases with age, so that older drivers suffer disproportionately.
I would appeal to the person who has had to read this rather long and drawn out appeal to not pursue the fine requested of me to pay. If I had intentionally driven in a bus lane then this would be deserved. However, I did not and would not do this. I am a regular user of the bus network when time and journeys permit me to do so. However on this occasion I could not use a bus due to the distance and timing of the running event I was taking part in. I live just outside the Royal Borough of Kingston and visit at least once a week, also have family within the borough. I have never been issued with any fine or points at any time in my driving history.
I look forward to a reply informing me of the current situation and should this ticket be continued I will continue to appeal on the grounds on unlawful sign positioning and incorrect road markings and unclear road markings. I am happy to be sent a copy of any material that you feel is suitable to prove this as incorrect and if pursued would like to receive a copy of the recording on this day, date and time showing clear road markings at this point with correctly posted road signs.
Once again thank you for your time in reading this letter. I look forward to a reply in the near future.
photo BUS1 - Shows bus lane where you supplied photo. Extreme worn markings with large pothole striking through the 'L'. The A also has damage to road surface with the E so faded it is almost unreadable. The two white lines at the beginning of the junction are barely visible.
photo BUS2 - Close up of above picture which also clearly shows previous attempts to mark out causing additional confusing to drivers.
photo BUS3 - Shows position of sign '958' which is meant to be 30 metres from start of lead but is in fact wrong and situated at only 21 metres from the start. This picture also shows a total of 11 road signs in a period of 90 metres. refer to point 6.14.6 in the appeal.
photo BUS4 - As BUS3 photo but a view from the road. It is impossible to read all these signs at 30mph, a total of 11 road signs for road users in a period of approx 90 metres.
Web link to Gov guidelines regarding bus lanes and the legality of operating them and making them lawful :https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/203665/traffic-signs-manual-chapter-03.pdf -page 130+