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Bus lane fine - please help


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Hey all,

 

I have just recieved a fine for driving in a bus lane on Camberwell High Road when I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.

I have redriven the route and the bus lane restarts after a predestrian crossing with no new sign and only bus stop written on the road, the only sign it is a bus line is the thick white line on the right hand sign. The lane only runs for about 6-7 car lengths and then turns into a left turn which I was taking.

 

I was lost at the time and seeing a signpost for where I wanted to go I pulled into the left hand lane and turned without even thinking about it.

 

I guess I am just going to have to pay the fine and be done with it but before I do I just wanted to ask if anyone knew of any grounds on which I could appeal. I dont have a lot of money to spare and would happily fight if I felt I had a chance of winning.

 

Thanking you in advance

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I was under the impression that you could enter a bus lane if you were turning left, but there is conflicting information on this. This link suggests that you can't:-

 

London Borough of Bromley | Bus Lanes

 

This one suggests you can:-

 

Bus Lanes

 

But this link has an interesting paragraph:-

 

http://sharepoint.bromley.gov.uk/Public%20PDF/5-ENVPDS-3003.doc.pdf

 

See paragraph 3.22. It mentions that there should be a dotted line 30 metres from a side road (from the Traffic Signs manual, which I presume is the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002). The paragraph also mentions that Bromley Council don't usually take action against drivers who enter the bus lane before the dotted line starts.

 

In theory there should be some form of statutory instrument or bus lane order which allowed the council to establish the bus lane and they usually list exceptions to the regulations. I would ask them if you can see this. You could also write in and ask to see the entire video of your alleged contravention.

 

It would do you no harm to go back to the site and take some photos and measurements of the road markings and see if they are compliant.

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http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/Traffic-enforcement-PCN-issuing-rules.pdf

 

Take a look at page 7 of this link under the heading " I used the bus lane to turn left into a side road". It mentions that there is an exemption in a the Traffic Management Order which allows other road users to enter the bus lane to turn left. TfL state they only allow a distance of 20 metres for someone to enter a bus lane to turn left. I personally don't see that as much distance at all to allow someone to make the left turn safely.

 

So, see if you can get your hands on the Traffic Management Order for the bus lane in question and see what the exemptions are.

 

This may make interesting reading for you too:-

 

London Motorists Action Group - Content

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hey all,

 

I have just recieved a fine for driving in a bus lane on Camberwell High Road when I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.

I have redriven the route and the bus lane restarts after a predestrian crossing with no new sign and only bus stop written on the road, the only sign it is a bus line is the thick white line on the right hand sign. The lane only runs for about 6-7 car lengths and then turns into a left turn which I was taking.

 

I was lost at the time and seeing a signpost for where I wanted to go I pulled into the left hand lane and turned without even thinking about it.

 

I guess I am just going to have to pay the fine and be done with it but before I do I just wanted to ask if anyone knew of any grounds on which I could appeal. I dont have a lot of money to spare and would happily fight if I felt I had a chance of winning.

 

Thanking you in advance

Helen, exactly the same thing for me today from Sat 07/07/07. Had absolutely no idea of any contravention, I was lost heading toward The Oval and don't know the road in question but from the photo I am just past a pedestrian crossing in a bus stop area. Don't know if I was merging into the right hand lane or turning left, in any event I had no intention of driving in a bus lane. I catch the 17/521 to work every morning so I know what I disaster it can be when other cars block bus lanes.

I am definitely going to appeal as it is madness. If you take any photos or the like to support your case I wouldn't mind a copy as it is not local to me I live in Kent.

Best of luck, Adam

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  • 3 weeks later...

I took some time out and used my camera phone, apologies for the quality. Do we think this is compliant with the regs it is 21 paces from the junction and the continuation is 29 paces long identified only by the solid white line? (working back from the junction): -

endofsign.jpg

roadcolour-surface.jpg

cameraview.jpg

viewfromcrossing.jpg

visiblelane.jpg

nearestsign.jpg

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As far as I am aware the bus stop does not form part of the bus lane, though if it is within the bus lane then bus land and bus stop regulations apply. But I am not sure how the zig zag markings of the pedestrian crossing fit into the equation. The question is would they be considered as part of the bus lane or not? And then there is the issue of the bus stop markings starting immediately after the zig zag markings on the other side of the crossing.

 

I would try and get a copy of the traffic management order that was used to set up this bus lane to see the precise details of where the bus lane is in effect from and to.

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Thanks Rob will do, does there have to be a sign "bus lane camera" or "traffic enforcement camera" or the camera symbol to notify you that you are entering an area where CCTV penalties will apply? There is no such sign from the junction with Foxley Road onwards, which is the area covered by the CCTV camera.

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No Dougal, it's only the speed cameras that they put up the warning signs for. They are not required for bus lane offences as far as I am aware.

 

PS. Take a look at the parking section on PePiPoo: Helping the motorist to get justice. There are some knowledgeable people there who my be able to assist further with your case.

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I'm not convinced that the Bus Stop conforms to legislation. I can't see it clearly but it seems to be one that should have been replaced at the beginning of the year. The old ones in the diagram linked below have no legal backing and could make the area unenforceable.

 

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tss/nlpbtsrgd/signstoberemovedby1stjanuary2007

PUTTING IT IN WRITING & KEEPING COPIES IS A MUST FOR SUCCESS

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  • 2 weeks later...

Helen

 

I too received a fine in exactly the same spot as you. And I am always very careful not to enter a bus lane. It seems like that particular spot is set up like a trap for motorists. I'm thinking of appealing. Did you appeal? If so, what was the outcome?

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HI.

 

I received the same pcn. Was driving to a seminar in Croydon Sunday morning. I have never been in that area before. My partner was trying to read a map and figure out where to go when we saw the sign for Croydon and took the left turn, not realizing we had driven onto a bus lane. I never drive on bus lane, nor does my partner, and neither of us noticed we were wrong there. The notice came as a total surprise as we were not aware we had done anything wrong. I have emailed them my request to see the video of the contravention but haven't heard back from them yet.

 

How did the matter work out for you guys. Is there any chance of getting out of it or should I simply pay the dicount rate while I still can?

 

Regards,

 

Karin

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah but guys no one has given a reply yet to this thread as something has to be done about this motorist abuse as I got a fine on the 07/09/07 on the same spot, which does not tell you if the bus lane continues or it has come to an end after the ziz zag line and immediately after you see the end of bus lane sign

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OK, These are the ground of appeal that you have (from PTAS web site):

 

Grounds of Appeal - Bus lane

 

These are the only grounds on which you may appeal against a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice

  1. I was not the owner at the material time
    For example, the vehicle was sold before or bought after the contravention occurred. You MUST supply the full name and address of the buyer or seller if you have it. Note: under the London Local Authorities Act 1996 the owner, not the driver, is normally liable for a penalty charge. See Owner Liability.
  2. There was no breach of the bus lane order/ regulation
    For example, the vehicle was not in a bus lane during its hours of operation/ the restrictions were not properly signed, the vehicle was exempt from the restrictions or the penalty exceeded the amount applicable.
  3. The person who was in control of the vehicle at the time was in control without my consent
    For example, the vehicle was driven in the bus lane after being stolen.
  4. The police are taking action
    Instead of the local authority imposing a civil penalty under their powers, the police are taking criminal action against the driver at the time of the alleged breach. This ground applies if the driver of the vehicle has received a Fixed Penalty Notice or a Notice of Intended Prosecution for the same breach.

If I was in your shoes I would appeal under ground 2 because of inadequate signage.

 

I would appeal in this way:

 

Prior to the crossing the bus lane is marked my the broad white line and red tarmac. The broad white line stops at the zig zag but the red tarmac continues after the end of the broad white line and ends at the crossing.

 

After the crossing there is no signage either on the road or on posts to indicate that the bus lane re commences and/or continues.

 

There is a broad white line does after the zig-zags end but in the absence of a sign on a post, the words "Bus Lane" on the road or red-tarmac there is nothing to say, unequivocally to the motorist that this is a bus lane. The signage is inadequate.

 

I would hope to be successful but you make up your own mind.

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

********************************************

Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Dear all

 

I was successful in my appeal against TfL for the bus lane fine. The adjudicator agreed that the markings were ambiguous.

 

Many thanks to all of you who helped me with advice and suggestions.

 

Bianca,

 

Fantastic, well done!

 

Was your appeal to TfL or the independent adjudicator?

Did you use my model argument?

********************************************

Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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  • 1 month later...

I've also been fined in the same place & when I appealed they turned me down!

 

if anyone has successfully appealed against the same fine, would you be kind enough to let me know a case number that I can quote. Also whether your appeal was through TFL or the independent adjudicator.

 

thanks v much

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Right! I think Bianca1771 who left the reply that she was successful with challenging TFL PCN on Camberwell Road Appealed to the Adjudicators after her representations to TFL was rejected. Niall_dc did you make a representation to TFL and it was rejected or you Appealed to the Adjudicators and it was refused, some clarity is required ASAP, so we can know how to progress in combating the illegal fines on the dodgy and ambiguous signage on Camberwell New Road J\W Brixton Road

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Bianca1771 (or anyone),

Just got caught 3 times by this camera the other week and have appealed, using some of the arguments posted above, so fingers crossed. Also I visited the site and was intrigued to discover that the bus lane ends just 20m from the traffic lights for the left turn into Brixton Road. I have read on the DfT website that bus lanes should end 30m ahead of a major left turn, so I believe it actually contravenes DfT regulations, which I have pointed out. I'd be very interested to know if you appealed to the adjudicators (assuming my first attempt is unsuccessful).

Thanks!

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Hi Bianca1771 (or anyone),

Just got caught 3 times by this camera the other week and have appealed, using some of the arguments posted above, so fingers crossed. Also I visited the site and was intrigued to discover that the bus lane ends just 20m from the traffic lights for the left turn into Brixton Road. I have read on the DfT website that bus lanes should end 30m ahead of a major left turn, so I believe it actually contravenes DfT regulations, which I have pointed out. I'd be very interested to know if you appealed to the adjudicators (assuming my first attempt is unsuccessful).

Thanks!

 

 

Dept of Transport information is generally for guidance only the legal requirements are contained in the Traffic Signs and General Directions 2002. Some bus lane pre date the current version and still use the previous dimensions.

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Felix01, it will be nice to know how you get on, I think Bianca1771 claims are misleading as there has been no evidence provided ever since the claim was made, I'm saying this because based on her claim. I appealed to PATAS and was refused my Appeal, TFL claimed there was no Legislation requesting that there be proper signage on Bus Lane and that a thick white Line on any road surface was sufficient to denote it was a Bus Lane and the onus was on the drivers to look for an " END OF BUS LANE " sign when travelling on there journeys. Hope this helps and lets know how you get on, since all the cases on the stretch of the road can be re-opened if your successful with the DfT regulations claim

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Dept of Transport information is generally for guidance only the legal requirements are contained in the Traffic Signs and General Directions 2002. Some bus lane pre date the current version and still use the previous dimensions.

 

I found the Traffic Signs and General Directions 2002 on the OPSI website and though it said plenty about signs and road markings, I couldn't see that it said anything about where it is legitimate to put a bus lane, i.e. anything that would contradict or back up what the DfT says. I don't suppose you'd know how I find this out? I did a quick seach on the OPSI website and didn't find anything.

 

Thanks

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XXX

Traffic Signs Policy Branch

Department for Transport

Zone 3/21

Great Minster House

76 Marsham St

London

SW1P 4DR

Web Site: Department for Transport

9 September 2005

Dear Sir

BUS LANE MARKINGS

Thank you for your letter of 11 August to Karen Buck about bus lane markings. I have been asked to reply. I am sorry that you did not receive a reply to your letter of 9 July to the Minister. Your letter was sent to her constituency office at the House of Commons, but unfortunately when it was forwarded to the Department for Transport's offices it was mistaken for a copy of your earlier letter and a reply was not sent. I apologise for that.

The Department has completed its search for the information you requested. I enclose copies of the relevant extracts. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD) prescribe the design and dimensions of traffic signs used in the UK, including road markings. Diagram 1049 prescribes that the boundary line of a bus lane, cycle lane or cycle track will be 150, 250 or 300 mm. Direction 18(3) of TSRGD provides that when the boundary line is varied to 150mm, it shall be used only with signs denoting a cycle lane or track; therefore the boundary line of a bus lane must be 250mm or 300mm wide. Diagrams 1048 and 1048.1 prescribe additional markings that may be placed within the lane to indicate its status. Diagram 1010 is used to mark the start of a bus lane. TSRGD makes no other provisions for bus lane markings, other than to specify the signs that may be used in conjunction with them.

Your letter refers to Chapter 5 of the Traffic Signs Manual and in particular to paragraph 17.8 concerning the gap between the boundary line to diagram 1049 and a left hand junction. This is a recommendation and not the law. The Traffic Signs Manual provides guidance to local authorities on how TSRGD should be applied in different situations. It makes recommendations about the use of bus lane markings but they are not the law. The Manual cannot stipulate how the markings should be used in every set of circumstances, because of the multiplicity of road layouts around the country. I enclose a copy of the introduction to Chapter 5. It makes clear that the Manual sets out advice, not mandatory requirements.

Interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts and adjudicators and it is up to them to decide whether an offence was committed or if bus lane markings have been used wrongly. We do expect them to take note of the recommendations in the Traffic Signs Manual but as I have said it is guidance, not a statutory publication.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most documents supplied by this Department will have been produced by Government officials and will be Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown copyright on HMSOnline at

Click-Use Licensing

If you are unhappy with the way the Department has handled your request or with the decisions made in relation to your request you may complain by writing to me at the above address. Please see the attached details of DfT's complaints procedure and your right to complain to the Information Commissioner.

I am copying this to Stephen Hammond MP.

Yours sincerely

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Thanks, that's interesting. However the TSRGD doesn't (as far as I can see) make any mention of where it is legal to position bus lanes, just how they're signed. So have you any idea if any such regulations exist, if the following link

 

Department for Transport - Bus priority: The way ahead (HTML version)

 

is just guidance? If there are no regulations what is to stop patently ridiculous bus lanes being created and enforced? Is it the role of the adjudicator to be "reasonable" in these circumstances and if that's the case do you think I might stand?

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