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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have just been issued with a PCN for driving in a Bus Lane.

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I have just been issued with a PCN for driving in a Bus Lane. I had parked my vehicle in a Richmond Borough Council official Pay & Display car space in Heath Rd, Twickenham, which runs parallel to the Bus Lane. When I left the parking space I had to travel through the Bus Lane to join the correct traffic lane, the photos show that I was moving across the bus lane diagonally and the time frame shown on the photos prove that I was completing this manoeuvre in less than 5 seconds. I appealed as I felt that I was not breaking the law, indeed there is no other way to enter or exit the parking bays without crossing the bus lane. I would appreciate your take on this as my appeal failed and I now have to wait for an Enforcement Notice before appealing again.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Attachment: 2014-02-26_102329_richmond_boro_council_2.pdf

It is obvious that it is not possible to enter or exit the bus lane to get to or leave a Pay & Display parking space on this road. Why should my appeal fail if the CCTV photos show me leaving the parking space and travelling out of the bus lane in less than 5 secs, the photos show the vehicle driving out of the bus lane from the parking bay. Although I was in the bus lane it is not possible to get to the correct lane without passing through the bus lane.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm sorry if I'm missing the point but you seem to accept being in the bus lane?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My point is this:- There are 3 lanes, 1 lane is dedicated parking bays, next to this is lane 2 which is a bus lane operating 24 hours, 7 days a week, next to this is lane three which is the traffic lane. It follows that it is impossible to enter a parking bay without crossing into the bus lane, it follows that it is not possible to leave the parking bay without crossing the bus lane. I left the parking bay and crossed the bus lane in less than 5 secs, only to enter the traffic lane, how can the council put parking bays in such a place that motorists have to enter a bus lane to gain access or leave the parking bay. it is illogical and

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I don't have the first page off he councils response but it is that which will contain their reasons.

Also, the second page reads as though this is a notice to owner rejection?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry I meant to send you the photo evidence, please find attached.

Attachment: 2014-02-26_104940_penalty_notice_2.pdf


 


The reason given by the council was that I travelled along the bus lane for a considerable distance but the photo evidence shows no more than 5 secs, all of the time leaving the bus lane not driving along it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

I see their issue. Their point is that you did not just pull out of the car park but travel across a bus lane to reach the outside but that you travelled diagonally some distance.

In fairness, you don't seem to deny that and that is travelling in a bus lane.

You can always appeal to the Adjudicator essentially on the basis that the transgression is a de minimus one unworthy of the attention of the courts. Clearly the Council won't accept that point so it will have to go to the Adjudicator if you want to contest this.

Whether it would succeed or not is another matter. De minimus is always within the discretion of the Adjudicator. 5 seconds is obviously a very sort period of time but the question is the length of road travelled which may or may not amount to a de minimus breach.

There is always the chance the Council will drop the matter or fail to prepare it properly. That does happen fairly regularly.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks - but is there any set distance laid down in law to travel from a parking bay into and out of a bus lane? The distance travelled roughly equates to the length of 4 parking bays and always into the direction of the correct lane in a smooth and safe operation.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No.

The presumption is that if you enter at all you commit a contravention.

You would have had really a natural justice challenge if you had done no more than enter because you needed to but that would have involved sticking the front of the car out from the car park and waiting until moving traffic let you in
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There was no moving traffic as you can see but had there been and a vehicle had stopped to let me in the result would be more or less the same as I would need to join the flow of traffic in a safe and orderly manner, so why can I not use the "natural justice challenge" anyway? Bet your glad you got involved in this one!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, that is part of the problem.

The plain fact is that your travelled in the bus lane when you didn't need to. Natural justice doesn't apply and, in truth, there is a good chance the Adjudicator could find against you I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok Thanks anyway, it seems that the only way to exit a bus lane is at 90 degrees to the lane although technically you are still in the bus lane when you exit, seems like a licence for the council to print money at the motorists expense to me but I will still try my luck with the Adjudicator as I feel that the PCN was over zealous and presented without due diligence to the facts.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I completely agree. Its worth a trial.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/
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