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      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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How is "parking" actually defined?


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I drive coaches for a (meesly) living. I always take large groups of people to a variety of places. When I get there, I have to figure out how to "legally" deal with my vehicle when it comes to the issue of "parking".

 

Usually, coaches are allowed in designated coach bays, for free, as long as you are there. However, not all places have coach bays or specific coach parking. I cannot begin to tell you how confusing it is when coaches are not specifically dealt with. I rarely carry cash so getting tickets is often impossible. Work should fund me, right?

 

Works view is that I'm not parked if you are with the vehicle. If you leave the vehicle secure and/or unattended, that's how they define parking. I agree with them. The problem is translating that view into real life. If coaches are not specifically dealt with, the signs usually say something like "find a space, park within the lines, pay for your ticket, be a good boy". These terms are obviously aimed at cars. My coach can take up 7 or 8 spaces, even at the bottom, out the way.

 

I recently got asked to pay for a ticket or leave. Having no cash on me, I felt obliged to leave so I parked the coach just outside the car park on the access road that had no parking restrictions but it caused an unnecessary obstrution, so much so that the warden asked me to repark back in the carpark. I refused so he called the Police who said there was no reason for me to reenter the car park, nor leave the place I'd now stopped in, even though it was causing problems for the patrons if the place I'd just dropped off at.

 

So, my question is 2 fold. Where it is unclear how to deal with my coach, by staying with the vehicle, am I parked or not? If sitting in the vehicle DOES constitute parking AND I've no cash on me to get a ticket, if I have to leave but cause problems elsewhere, am I better off staying inside the carpark and plead that I'm not parked as I'm still with the vehicle as work say? In my contract of employment, they expressly state I'm responsible for speeding, parking, tacho fines and seatbelt fines.

 

I'm stuck in the middle when coaches are not specifically catered for. Any coachie people out there with experience of ths "parking" issue?

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It is accepted that vehicles may stop for alighting passengers from a vehicle as long as no obstruction is caused. Now, obstruction is determined by a police officer, not a traffic warden but if you are letting people off from your coach on a restricted road then the warden may issue a PCN and it is down to you to appeal that ticket.

Car parks dont have the luxury of the alighting exemption form traffic order but you do have a "going for change" argument that is an allowable reason for being parked without ticket

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Whatever your work says about it, parking is not defined by them. They are entitled to their view, but that doesn't help you when you're with your coach.

 

Parking (or waiting) is about the vehicle. It is of no relevance if there is a person inside, or standing nearby, or if the hazard lights are on etc. You would be deemed to be parked if the vehicle is stationary for a length of time, in a parking place or on the roadside.

 

There seems to me to be a possible way forward. If you explain to work about the problems, would they not allow you some funds, either in petty cash, or to redeem your out of pocket costs? That would enable you just to buy a ticket at their expense. If they refuse, then you're in a difficult situation - but it's not true that if you are attending the vehicle that it's not parked.

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Well...I tend to agree with work. There is a difference between parking and merely stopping....you don't park at a red light, you stop at it. You don't park at a give way, you stop. You don't park in a bus stop, you stop at it. I take your point about work not being THE authority on the definition of parking but I agree with them...I'm not parked. I'm stopped.

 

Jambersob, do you have a credible authority for your view, 'but it's not true that if you are attending the vehicle that it's not parked."

 

The reason i ask is because if you go to a dictionary and look up the verb 'park', you get something like this...

"Bring (a vehicle that one is driving) to a halt and leave it temporarily, typically in a car park or by the side of the road: ‘he parked his car outside her house’

 

This one is from the oxford dictionary...so my question to Jambersob...do you have an authority for your view?

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The laws governing road use distinguish between stopping, eg at a red light, and waiting - which is what you or I would call parking. That's what we are talking about - the definition of waiting. If you look at the meaning of double yellow lines in the Highway Code for example, you will see they mean "no waiting", not "no stopping" (you can stop to give way, for example), and not "no parking" either (that's not the correct terminology).

 

I will see if I can find the proper legal definition of waiting for you - I'm not sure where to look, but I'll see.

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No, I've looked around a few sites and can't find one. It boils down to how courts and adjudicators have interpreted the term "waiting". I think it stands to reason that it is what the vehicle is doing which matters, not what the driver is doing, but I can't give you a definitive reference.

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This is what work say...they don't define parking on purpose...its to allow for uncertainty which, in turn, allows tickets to be issued. Work take the view that coaches are generally welcomed to businesses as they generally bring lots of people to spend a bit of money so are generally welcomed...so they fight all PCB's on that basis. They've never lost one yet but its only ever gone all the way once...and they did win.

 

It's just a bit naff cos they are in a comfy office, I'm on the end of the warden flapping and I genuinely don't know if I should get a ticket or not because I genuinely don't know if I need to because of the definition of being parked or not....its a big fight at the time but in the bigger picture, its laughable really... Bear in mind the size if the vehicle usually takes up about 8 spaces...do I need 8 tickets? Usually, the notice is aimed at cars and no mention of coaches is made....so if I take up 8 spaces, is that technically 8 parking offences? It gets complicated when coaches are not catered for...

 

If we know in advance we need to pay to park, they give me slummy but if its a leisure centre, for example, its assumed they'd have their own car park but if we get there and find out they dont, for whatever reason, I've gotta find a solution.

Edited by BigTony1980
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Whilst the term 'parked' is often used, most traffic orders actually state the contravention as 'waiting'. In legal terms both are deemed to be the same thing and provided you are not moving you are considered 'parked'. If you are dropping off passengers most restrictions allow you to park for as long as it takes for the passengers to get on or off the coach but not to wait for them to arrive. Some restrictions however such as bus stops, taxi ranks, zig zags etc do not permit you to stop to do so.

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I would say that I worked in the parking system for my local council for a few years and I have never ever heard of a PCN being cancelled because the driver was inside or attending the vehicle. In fact, PCNs can be served by phyiscally handing them to the driver at the scene, rather than attaching them to the windscreen. They are often handed to the driver through the window, while he's sitting in the drivers' seat.

 

I suppose you could turn the issue around and see if you or anyone can find an exemption for vehicles where the driver is in attendance. I'll bet you can't.

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Well, in a bus or coach or minibus, we are legally allowed to use bus stops or bus lanes, so you're not quite right in what you say. Notice how they say bus stop and not bus park...you can't park in a bus stop but whilst you're actually in the vehicle, they can't issue a lawful pcn as no offense is comitted. It's only comitted if you leave the vehicle unattended....so given a car park (rather than a car stop) requires you to park, one must know the definition of parking to know whether or not an offence is being comitted...

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and the word car can confuse, especially if coach is not even addressed in the terms. By calling it a car park, rather than vehicle park, it seems coaches should not be in there...yet they are rarely excluded...

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Well, in a bus or coach or minibus, we are legally allowed to use bus stops or bus lanes, so you're not quite right in what you say. .

 

Bus stops can be used by scheduled local buses only which doesn't include mini buses or coaches, I would have thought being in the trade so to speak you would have known that?

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Check your authority. The requirement isn't that the vehicle is on a registered service. You are talking about "local bus lanes", not "bus lanes".

 

Local bus lanes are very rare, I only know of a handful nationally. 90% of bus lanes or bus stops are open to even a 12 seater minibus as the RTA and the Highway Code define a bus as any vehicle with 9 or more passenger seats.....and that's it. No mention of registered routes unless you are in a local bus lane.

 

I have this regularly with wardens. They struggle to distinguish beween 2 important differences, local bus lanes is one, the other is the difference between a taxi and a bus. Taxis are never allowed in bus lanes but 12 seaters are, regardless of whether passengers are on board or not.

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Check your authority. The requirement isn't that the vehicle is on a registered service. You are talking about "local bus lanes", not "bus lanes".

 

Local bus lanes are very rare, I only know of a handful nationally. 90% of bus lanes or bus stops are open to even a 12 seater minibus as the RTA and the Highway Code define a bus as any vehicle with 9 or more passenger seats.....and that's it. No mention of registered routes unless you are in a local bus lane.

 

I have this regularly with wardens. They struggle to distinguish beween 2 important differences, local bus lanes is one, the other is the difference between a taxi and a bus. Taxis are never allowed in bus lanes but 12 seaters are, irregardless of whether passengers are on board or not.

 

I said Bus Stop, I never mentioned Bus lanes that was you and has nothing to do with parking and a bus is 8 passengers NOT 9.

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A minibus can stop at a bus stop as it satisfies the definition of bus. You are wrong, as previously stated, check your source. Only "local bus stops" are restricted to registered buses and as said above, mostbus lanes or bus stops are not local across the country as a whole...

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SIGNIFICANCE OF BUS STOP AND BUS STAND CLEARWAY MARKINGS

 

 

Interpretation of Part I of Schedule

 

 

1. For the purposes of this Part of this Schedule

 

(a)clearway means an area of carriageway bounded by the continuous and broken straight yellow lines comprised in the road marking in diagram 1025.1, 1025.3 or 1025.4 and bus stop clearway means a clearway on which the words BUS STOP are marked; and

 

(b)a vehicle shall be taken to have stopped within a clearway if

 

(i)any point in the clearway is below the vehicle or its load (if any); and

 

(ii)the vehicle is stationary.

 

Prohibition conveyed by road markings

 

 

2. The road markings in diagrams 1025.1, 1025.3 and 1025.4 shall each convey the prohibition that, subject to the exceptions specified in paragraphs 3 and 4, no person driving a vehicle shall cause it to stop within the clearway

 

(a)at any time, if the sign shown in diagram 974 or 975 placed in conjunction with the markings is varied so as to omit the reference to times of day; or

 

(b)in any other case, during the period specified on that sign.

 

Exceptions in favour of buses

 

 

3. Nothing in paragraph 2 applies to the driver of a bus being used in the provision of a local service who causes the bus to stop within the clearway for so long as may be necessary

 

(a)to maintain the published timetable for the service (provided, in the case of a bus stop clearway, the bus is not stopped within the clearway for a period exceeding two minutes);

 

(b)to enable passengers to board or alight from the bus; or

 

©to enable the crew of the bus to be changed.

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All restricted bus stops and stands are now clearways the old style bus stops are now not an approved road marking and can be used by ANY vehicle as they are simply advisory.

 

Maybe in your council. Don't suppose your authority for this is a TRO by anychance?

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Even TRO's can't change the bus lane or bus stop definitions as the RTA defines them and that's primary legislation whereas TRO's are tertiary legislation...

 

Bus stops are defined in the TSRGD 2002 not in the 'RTA' whatever that is? Bus stops do not need a TRO as they are defined in law by the schedule I posted and their are two definitions of a Bus lane, outside London in the Transport Act 2000 inside London using the definition in the TSRGD 2002, none of the Road Traffic Acts define a Bus lane or stop.

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Well, in a bus or coach or minibus, we are legally allowed to use bus stops or bus lanes, so you're not quite right in what you say. Notice how they say bus stop and not bus park...you can't park in a bus stop but whilst you're actually in the vehicle, they can't issue a lawful pcn as no offense is comitted. It's only comitted if you leave the vehicle unattended....so given a car park (rather than a car stop) requires you to park, one must know the definition of parking to know whether or not an offence is being comitted...

 

I keep saying it: the issue is not "parking", it is waiting and I am not sure there is a definition written down. The interpretation of the law is down to courts and adjudicators, and they will decide what constitutes waiting.

 

In my experienced opinion, if you bring your coach to a stop, in a parking space, with no passengers getting on or off, you are waiting whether you're inside it, next to it or sitting on the roof. I have never heard of any other interpretation of waiting involving the presence of the driver, but you can test it by not paying to park and appealing the PCN on the basis that you were attending the vehicle. See what happens.

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Maybe in your council. Don't suppose your authority for this is a TRO by anychance?

 

My local authority complies with the law and changed all its non compliant bus stops marked by a 'bus stop' bay and double yellow lines to Bus stop clearways years ago, anywhere that hasn't has 'free' parking as the bays are meaningless.

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All restricted bus stops and stands are now clearways the old style bus stops are now not an approved road marking and can be used by ANY vehicle as they are simply advisory.

 

Secondly, any road marking, stop or anything you want to label that has the word bus in it allows a coach or a 12 seater in it, use it or whatever. It can only be restricted by using the word "local" in front of it but these are highly political as local bus lanes are often empty and motorists expect coaches and even mubibuses to be in them...hence why they are not used much. Only inner inner city roads tend to get them...

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The only place you can legally park a coach is in a 'coach bay' if you wait anywhere else that is restricted longer than it takes to drop off or pick up you are liable for a PCN, you can argue 'til the cows come home but thats the truth whether you like it or not!

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