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Bus Gate Penalty Appeal Advice Needed


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I need advice on if is worth proceeding with an appeal, I have already submitted it but could cancel it.

The PCN was correctly sent to my address, I informally appealed to the council (Sheffield)

a few days ago received a Notice of Rejection.

 

 

The NoR was sent to the wrong address, my previous address (I moved 2 years ago and my driving license has been updated with my correct address for about 2 years),

I received a few days ago when the person from the old address found out where I lived and hand delivered it.

 

1. I could contact the council and given the fact I haven't had 14 days to pay the lower rate get them to agree the lower rate (£30 instead of £60) instead of proceeding with the appeal. I'm concerned that I might lose this opportunity if I take too long to decide about appealing.

 

2. My ground of appeal would be the signage - I don't think I can use the wrong address as grounds of appeal?

 

3. I'm not sure how strong my case is.

I turned left onto a main road, where the bus gate started 50 meters down the road, at which point you have to turn right to avoid it.

 

 

After negotiating and speeding up, by the time I became aware of the bus gate it was too late.

 

 

My grounds are as follows, which I think would be OK for a bus lane, but I'm not sure about a bus gate (though I think the rules are the same)?

 

Looking at TSM Chapter 3 (I'm not allowed to post a link, but its a pdf on a uk gov website)

 

1. I think the side road I emerged from should have advance warning signs of the bus gate, it didn't.

 

2. Although there is a warning sign immediately about 2 yards away from where I turned left, it's orientation at 90 degrees away from the direction of travel when I stop before turning left means I can't readily see it

(also it's height above the car made it difficult to see). At least that's why I didn't see it.

 

 

I think that sign doesn't apply to me, because it's not on the road I was on,

and it is not visible for me by at least 45 metres as per section 15.9 of TSM chapter 3.

I'm not clear how this might be viewed by the adjudicator?

 

3. The next sign is 50 metres away, at the start of the bus gate, where I would need to turn right.

As far as I'm aware, that also contravenes section 15.9 because it is not 30 metres in advance (given the route I was taking) although it was visible for over 45 metres.

 

4. Taking 2 and 3 into account, I don't think I had sufficient visible advance notice of the bus gate.

Traffic travelling along the main road would have had advance notice,

but because I was on a side street with no advance warning signs I didn't have advance notice

 

My difficult with deciding if I should appeal is that

 

 

(1) I don't know how the adjudicator might look at it,

(2) because its a bus gate, I don't know how rigidly the rules on advance warning for bus lanes are expected to be applied by the adjudicator, or if they apply at all

(3) if my appeal isn't strong, I wonder if I'm best trying to get the council to let me pay the reduced charge in view of the wrong address on the NoR

(I've only just received it even though it is more than 14 days since it was first issued),

I'd pay £30 instead of risking £60 on an appeal that might fail.

 

Can anyone advise?

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One other thing, I'm not clear if this is a bus only route or a bus gate (if it makes a difference). It's a 2 way road leading up to the bus gate, and still 2 way along the bus only route, except that only buses and cycles and taxis can use that side of the road between 4.00pm and 6.30pm . There is no contraflow. At the start of the bus gate there isn't a no-entry sign.

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Update:

 

They offered a reduced fine until 14 days after the NoR was served - the letter was NoR was dated 6th July, but I didn't receive it until a few days ago because it was addressed to the wrong address, so presumably I can contend that I am still within 14 days of the date it was effectively served, and should be able to pay the reduced fine?

 

Otherwise:

 

I really only want to understand if for bus gates (and they are calling it a bus gate on the NoR) there must be suitable warning signs? If so, is the following suitable for advance warning?

 

1. A sign on the main road immediately when joining it when making a left turn. So the sign was not at right angles to my direction of travel down the side road.

2. A sign at the start of the bus gate, 50 metres further down the main road from where I turned left.

 

Please can any one simply confirm or deny the legality of the above?

 

I've checked the wording of PcN and NoR, and other than the NoR being sent to the wrong address, everything seems to be in order there.

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I got in touch with Sheffield Parking services. They refused to honour the discount at this stage (seems a bit unreasonable?) though did say they might honour it if the appeal was rejected as long as I put details of the fact the letter was sent to the wrong address in the appeal.

 

Should put about the misaddressed letter, the fact they refused to accept a discounted penalty payment, and the fact they did not respond in the NoR to the points I made about lack of warning signs?

 

So I'm going ahead with the appeal then. Should I upload the NoR and PCN to this thread when I get time in a few days time?

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