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I had an appointment for dental treatment last week. I parked the car, with a blue badge and 'clock' correctly displayed, on the opposite side of the road. This is an area previously covered by double yellows and had, 12+ years ago, been a service bus stop.

 

I am fully aware that no service buses have used this stop since the opening of a new Interchange down the road in 2006. It is a popular parking place for blue badge holders as it is a quiet stretch of road since the buses stopped running through there, other services with stands in the next street stopped using this area of town last year when a gap in the dual carriageway was plugged and traffic lights removed as part of other works taking place.

 

But, the council have since marked out a 'Bus Stop' at one end of the parking area and claim this is for a community transport minibus for the disabled. These minibuses have run for some years now and my understanding was they went a different way, dropping off and picking up on the other side of the road to where I was parked.

 

I contested the ticket. They've written to say no, I was parked in a bus stop and therefore have to pay. I disagree.

 

I accept that they have marked out the 'Bus Stop' and put a thick solid yellow line against the kerb, which I didn't see when I parked between other vehicles already there as it was raining heavily. I have checked, this work has been done in the last year. I used Google street view to see how it was marked last year, just double yellows although the whole stretch had green tarmac.

 

Before I appealed the ticket I checked with https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q388.htm and there is a single line which says under PLACES WHERE YOU CANNOT PARK, 'A bus stop during hours of operation;'. So as part of the 'informal appeal', as they term it, I had said "I have challenged (the council) to tell me the hours of operation for this stand". They have not supplied this information.

 

I am not against the disabled persons bus service, being a blue badge holder myself, but I question the legality of the stand being there. It is not for service buses and therefore would not have 'hours of operation' in that respect, meaning I complied with the information I obtained from the Police website. The community transport service is pre-booked, so by definition not a 'public service' bus as we know them. The 'bus stop' is therefore not in use for service vehicles and I was parked there outside any known 'hours of operation'.

 

But where do I get this sort of thing verified so I can make a formal request to the council for repayment of the PCN on the grounds I was parked legally ? I am paying it under protest as they double the amount if not paid within 14 days.


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You can ask the council fo a copy of the Traffic Order for that stretch of road, and this will tell you what the legal restrictions are. If it says bus stop, it's a bus stop, and you can't park there. The council aren't obliged to use it as a bus stop, nor provide details of which hours it's in operation. Check the Traffic Order and see what it says.

 

If it is indeed a bus stop, and you were there when it's in operation, the next question is whether it's correctly signed. Hard to say without seeing it.

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Thanks for the info. It does go against what i read on the Police site re. the hours of operation though.

 

I have contacted the council, rather convenient that the chap I need to speak to had left the office for the day and I need to call back. I'll see what the traffic order says.

 

I am a disabled person with COPD and other ailments so try not to go out of the house unless I have to, hence using the wife's car to visit the dentist. I can copy the Google street view to show how it used to be, but would need to go back with a camera to show how it's marked out and any plates displaying information. At present I can't go to do that as the car is in the garage to have a new clutch fitted.

 

I think the key to this is in your last sentence: "If it is indeed a bus stop, and you were there when it's in operation...". My concern is that it is not in operation as a bus stop at all but as a dropping off point for the community transport operator. I know check the traffic order... Waiting to get that.


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if buses havent run for a number of years then you can argue that the TO doesnt apply due to dereliction. this is an awkward one as you will have to show not only a lack of buses but also a lack of enforcement of the restriction.

I agree that the council saying it is for a drop off minbus service is a red herring but it may be that you should ask the service provider how many seats their vehicles have as that may show it isnt even a PSV of the correct class.

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I accept that they have marked out the 'Bus Stop' and put a thick solid yellow line against the kerb,

 

Check if there is there also a sign showing the times of operation. If there is, and you were parked during those times, it could weaken your case.

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The area was left with green tarmac after buses stopped running from there 12 years and I can see on Google street view that it was just double yellows up to last year's images, the latest they have.

 

The council have informed me, via my local councillor, that the bus stop was added quite recently. I have to agree that there is a thick yellow line at the kerb side and the 'bus stop' markings are there. Very difficult to miss in the rain, when parking between other vehicles that were there at the time. My local knowledge of over 20 years in the town was that no buses run down that street these days. I was totally unaware of the disability bus as these services have always stopped on the other side of the road.

 

I will be going to take a good look at the area on Saturday. I will check for any plates showing restrictions etc.

 

I just spoke to the council, and the man who arranged for the bus stop to be put there. There is no traffic order, they have not needed one since a change in regulations back in 2002. The area is defined as a 24/7 clearway bus stop and is marked up as such with the thick yellow markings. However, he has accepted that I may have a point about PSV against a community disability bus and the validity of the stop. He is unaware of any such restriction but will check and get back to me.

 

He says that the reason the bus stop has been (re) created there is that the disability service has grown over the years and the vehicles were causing an obstruction where they had been stopping on the other side of the road. It has been there since September (-ish) 2018.

 

He is also of the opinion that a bus is a vehicle set out as such with 8 or more seats and that there is no definition in the regulations relating to public service vehicles only. My point was that the disability buses are pre-booked, so not a 'public service'.


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. My point was that the disability buses are pre-booked, so not a 'public service'.

 

If the vehicle complies with s.1, Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, (more than 8 passenger seats, fare paying passengers etc.), it may be considered to be a Public Service Vehicle.

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