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Gliddon Road no U-Turn - Hammersmith & Fulham Council - High Court Action

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Hello

 

I have read several threads about this particular traffic sign at Gliddon Road and the motorists who have received fines for carrying out what the council asserts is a U-turn. The aggrieved motorists argument has consistently been that the type of turn they carried out was not a U-turn but a 3-point turn.

 

The council maintains that this amounts to a u-turn but there is no legal definition of a u-turn. Furthermore, the number of people who have been caught since the signs were erected is in the thousands (I have seen figures - through a freedom of information request - that show the revenue this particular sign has generated in fines runs into the millions of pounds) which suggests there is an element of ambiguity about the sign which the council are profiting from. If they wanted to prevent this manoeuver being carried out the measures they have taken have plainly failed.

 

I know someone who has received a fine for performing this manoeuver and is considering going to the high court to seek judicial review to overturn the PATAS decision rejecting his appeal of the original PCN issued.

 

I would be grateful for any advice or information about the procedure for making an application to the High Court. He is still well within the 3 month period following the rejection of the appeal to the PATAS decision so there is still plenty of time.

 

Has anyone researched this or know where to start?

 

Many thanks!

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Judicial reviews are not for the faint-hearted. Is he aware of the financial risks should he lose?

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He is aware that the costs could be very large. I am not sure whether it is possible to predict what the council's court costs could be if he lost?

 

Thanks, MT

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Hello

 

I have read several threads about this particular traffic sign at Gliddon Road and the motorists who have received fines for carrying out what the council asserts is a U-turn. The aggrieved motorists argument has consistently been that the type of turn they carried out was not a U-turn but a 3-point turn.

 

The council maintains that this amounts to a u-turn but there is no legal definition of a u-turn. Furthermore, the number of people who have been caught since the signs were erected is in the thousands (I have seen figures - through a freedom of information request - that show the revenue this particular sign has generated in fines runs into the millions of pounds) which suggests there is an element of ambiguity about the sign which the council are profiting from. If they wanted to prevent this manoeuver being carried out the measures they have taken have plainly failed.

 

I know someone who has received a fine for performing this manoeuver and is considering going to the high court to seek judicial review to overturn the PATAS decision rejecting his appeal of the original PCN issued.

 

I would be grateful for any advice or information about the procedure for making an application to the High Court. He is still well within the 3 month period following the rejection of the appeal to the PATAS decision so there is still plenty of time.

 

Has anyone researched this or know where to start?

 

Many thanks!

 

The legal definition is contained in the traffic order......

 

sqni14.png

 

Surely it doesn't take a high court to decide what turning your vehicle to face the opposite direction means??

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point 3 is pretty clear to me.

 

expect someone to lose their house if they go for a judicial review never mind just paying the ticket

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Hi

 

I should say that I am not involved in this legal case - I am just helping the driver gather some information because he is not a user of the internet.

 

But, in response to the point you made above:

 

The traffic management order does not contain a legal definition of a u-turn. There is, currently, no legal definition of a u-turn. The only definition of a u-turn provided by any official body that he has been able to find is from the DSA which states that a u-turn means to turn the vehicle round without reversing.

 

What the council have done in this case is to say that, for their purposes, this particular no u-turn sign means something different from what it is generally understood by all drivers to mean - namely to do a turn in the shape of a U by driving forward (and not reversing). But how do drivers that see that sign know that in this particular instance it means something different from what they have always understood it to mean? If they wanted to stop this practice they could have put a sign saying 'No Turning Round'. This is his main argument - there are also other issues relating to visibility.

 

This is why so many motorists (at one point it was around 50 - 60 per day) have been caught out by this.

 

Thanks,

 

M

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What the council have done in this case is to say that, for their purposes, this particular no u-turn sign means something different from what it is generally understood by all drivers to mean - namely to do a turn in the shape of a U by driving forward (and not reversing). But how do drivers that see that sign know that in this particular instance it means something different from what they have always understood it to mean? If they wanted to stop this practice they could have put a sign saying 'No Turning Round'. This is his main argument - there are also other issues relating to visibility.

 

This is why so many motorists (at one point it was around 50 - 60 per day) have been caught out by this.

 

Thanks,

 

M

 

I think you will find that most motorists would take that sign to mean exactly what the council describe. i.e. it means "do not turn the car around in this road to face the opposite direction in this area" If all you have to do to negate the sign's instruction is put the car in reverse gear for a couple of feet (whether you physically needed to or not to complete the turn) then all "no U turn" signs could be ignored throughout the country..

 

I think, if this is the basis of your friend pursuing a high court review, you will shortly be friends with a homeless person!

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Where exactly is this sign on Gliddon Rd? Typically this sign is used on dual carridgeways perhaps with a break in the central reserve, and they don't want drivers nipping into the gap and back up the other side of the dual. Or maybe a similar road with a traffic light junction, drivers commence a "right hand turn" manouevre, but instead of going into the new road to the right, add in the extra 90degrees and go back up the original road! In many cases, such a manouevre can be dangerous, hence the prohibition sign.

 

Gliddon Rd doesn't appear to be the type of road I would have expected to see this sign on but perhaps I'm not looking at teh correct section.

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Where exactly is this sign on Gliddon Rd? Typically this sign is used on dual carridgeways perhaps with a break in the central reserve, and they don't want drivers nipping into the gap and back up the other side of the dual. Or maybe a similar road with a traffic light junction, drivers commence a "right hand turn" manouevre, but instead of going into the new road to the right, add in the extra 90degrees and go back up the original road! In many cases, such a manouevre can be dangerous, hence the prohibition sign.

 

Gliddon Rd doesn't appear to be the type of road I would have expected to see this sign on but perhaps I'm not looking at teh correct section.

 

Its the bit just north of the A4 people are trying to get around the no right turn onto the a4 by going across the junction doing a u turn then turning left.

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"I think you will find that most motorists would take that sign to mean exactly what the council describe"

 

If you think that then how do you explain the fact that after the signs were erected many thousands of drivers have been caught and (as has been revealed due to a freedom of information request) are still being caught?

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"Typically this sign is used on dual carridgeways perhaps with a break in the central reserve, and they don't want drivers nipping into the gap and back up the other side of the dual"

 

You are correct. And if you enquired about how many people had been caught doing a u-turn in one of those locations you would probably find maybe a handful every month, perhaps even a couple of dozen. Not 5000!

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"I think you will find that most motorists would take that sign to mean exactly what the council describe"

 

If you think that then how do you explain the fact that after the signs were erected many thousands of drivers have been caught and (as has been revealed due to a freedom of information request) are still being caught?

 

Probably for the same reason drivers get caught speeding, using mobiles, being drunk, not using seat belts etc etc its just that H&F are more succesful at enforcing the law than the Met Police.

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"I think you will find that most motorists would take that sign to mean exactly what the council describe"

 

If you think that then how do you explain the fact that after the signs were erected many thousands of drivers have been caught and (as has been revealed due to a freedom of information request) are still being caught?

 

Probably the same reason thousands of motorists get caught speeding or on mobile phones every day.. half of them aren't paying attention to road signs etc and the other half think the law only applies to other people and not to them!

 

If you really think that sign means "don't turn your car around in this road using one complete forward movement, but it's ok if you have to put it in reverse and do a 3-point turn (which is probably 10 times more dangerous).." well, go for a judicial review on it.

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haha! touche G&M. guess we were typing that at the same time. :)

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Also, drivers do not just put the car into reverse for a couple of feet. They turn into the driveway of a block of residential flats and then reverse back out on the road.

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Also, drivers do not just put the car into reverse for a couple of feet. They turn into the driveway of a block of residential flats and then reverse back out on the road.

 

I suspect the residents of the flats are well chuffed with 5000 drivers a month using their drive to turn around in!

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I would point out that this location has been the subject of a PATAS review and discussed in great detail for a high court to suggest that using the reverse gear makes a u turn legal is highly improbable. People actually reverse through no entry signs and up one way streets because they do not understand the law that doesn't make it legal to do so.

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I would simply say that this is about clarity of communication.

 

The council have appropriated a sign to mean something it has not previously been understood to mean. This creates ambiguity, which leads to bad choices being made by drivers in split-second decision situations . If you say the sign is clear then why are so many people being caught by it? Yes, thousands of people are caught every day breaking various laws and traffic regulations but not in one specific spot. The measures the council have taken (in the interests of the residents to protect them from this dangerous and annoying practice) have clearly not worked - for over three years. It could be argued that the only people who have benefited from the measures are the council, financially.

 

This is my last post.

 

Thanks for all your thoughts and feedback.

 

M.

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I would simply say that this is about clarity of communication.

 

The council have appropriated a sign to mean something it has not previously been understood to mean. This creates ambiguity, which leads to bad choices being made by drivers in split-second decision situations . If you say the sign is clear then why are so many people being caught by it? Yes, thousands of people are caught every day breaking various laws and traffic regulations but not in one specific spot. The measures the council have taken (in the interests of the residents to protect them from this dangerous and annoying practice) have clearly not worked - for over three years. It could be argued that the only people who have benefited from the measures are the council, financially.

 

This is my last post.

 

Thanks for all your thoughts and feedback.

 

M.

 

If you did a straw poll most drivers would not realise that you can get tickets for moving traffic contraventions due to the fact it only happens in london and not all Councils do it. The same thing happened when the Police did bus lanes, you would have a quick look to see if there was a copper about then nip down the bus lane. There is a no right turn in my local area which is as clear as anything (signs on both sides and facing you as you wait to turn) and has been abused for years, drivers pull up to the junction check for a Police car and then turn right. The Council now enforce by camera and the numbers have dropped but people still do it because they assume that as they cannot see any enforcement its safe to make the turn without getting caught. As we said earlier why do people still use phones, its not because they didn't know its wrong its because they think as there are no police in sight they can get away with it, I would bet anything that if you parked a traffic police car in Gliddon road the numbers doing it would halve.

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Absent a legal definition, albeit that there a (limited) one here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2864/made , then the ordinary english meaning is to be used. I suggest this is such http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/U-turn?q=u-turn Of course the councils will fight tooth and nail over this, they want the money and care not for legalities.

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Absent a legal definition, albeit that there a (limited) one here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2864/made , then the ordinary english meaning is to be used. I suggest this is such http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/U-turn?q=u-turn Of course the councils will fight tooth and nail over this, they want the money and care not for legalities.

 

Council has already had a verdict on it from PATAS so there is nothing to fight about, the traffic order bans what the drivers are doing and the DofT, PATAS and the Council all say its signed correctly.

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I don't think there is any mileage in a debate about does an action constitute a "U Turn" if a reverse gear is used during the action thereby changing it from a"u turn" to being a "3 point turn" or "reverse around a corner", and as a consequence absolving the driver of the contravention of the road sign.

 

The real debate I think on this particular action is whether the fact the car left the roadway, entered private property, and after a limited period of time, re-entered the public highway and proceeded in another direction, does this meet the definition of contravening a road sign showing "no u turn".

 

G&M is confirming this has been reviewed and apparently upheld as a contravention. Personally I am not sure I agree with this, but hey-ho, the legal b eagles have decided the opposite.

 

Ignoring the moral aspect of these drivers entering private property to carry out this action, it begs the question of what do the residents of these flats do to avoid PCNs? Do they have to remember which way they came down the road back to their flat and make sure when they leave they continue in the same direction? or do they continually have to appeal PCNs if they forget and go up the road the other way?

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I don't think there is any mileage in a debate about does an action constitute a "U Turn" if a reverse gear is used during the action thereby changing it from a"u turn" to being a "3 point turn" or "reverse around a corner", and as a consequence absolving the driver of the contravention of the road sign.

 

The real debate I think on this particular action is whether the fact the car left the roadway, entered private property, and after a limited period of time, re-entered the public highway and proceeded in another direction, does this meet the definition of contravening a road sign showing "no u turn".

 

G&M is confirming this has been reviewed and apparently upheld as a contravention. Personally I am not sure I agree with this, but hey-ho, the legal b eagles have decided the opposite.

 

Ignoring the moral aspect of these drivers entering private property to carry out this action, it begs the question of what do the residents of these flats do to avoid PCNs? Do they have to remember which way they came down the road back to their flat and make sure when they leave they continue in the same direction? or do they continually have to appeal PCNs if they forget and go up the road the other way?

 

The cars are not leaving the road as the entrance to the flats is gated, they are just using the crossover which is still legally part of the road and that is clear in the TRO. The residents will obviously enter the flats via the gate and leave at some other time so there is no contravention.

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Council has already had a verdict on it from PATAS so there is nothing to fight about, the traffic order bans what the drivers are doing and the DofT, PATAS and the Council all say its signed correctly.

 

Can you please cite the DoFT's exact text where the DoFT says that the the signage is correct ? And how does the signage in place clearly convey the TRO ? (and how a TRO can invent a unique, local and hidden meaning to a TSRGD traffic sign and how the sign conveys that unique, hidden and local meaning clearly to the driver). Of course the council says it is correct - it wants the money and cares not one jot about anything else. If PATAS decisions had any weight in a court of law then their opinion may be of interest, however the fact is that PATAS opinions don't carry any weight at all, not even in other PATAS decisions. Such sidetracking with an attempt to 'appeal to authority' does not work. Not that the signage in and of itself is the issue - the matter is what constitutes a U-turn. Many councils have it in what passes for their minds as a three point turn, this issue is not scoped to one location.

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The cars are not leaving the road as the entrance to the flats is gated, they are just using the crossover which is still legally part of the road and that is clear in the TRO. The residents will obviously enter the flats via the gate and leave at some other time so there is no contravention.

 

ah I see. That makes sense G&M.

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