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Austin Allegro

Traffic offence: pay up, or appeal?

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Just got a letter about a fine for driving in a bus lane in a well-known cathedral city somewhere in England. £60 or £30 if paid up in 14 days. 

I remember at the time thinking it wasn't clear if I could turn into the road or not. 

Google streetview reveals I was right - the road surface from the road I came out of is marked with 'no right turn' but this was covered by other vehicles at the junction, so I couldn't see it. 

There is no other sign saying ahead only or no right turn, and there is also a green filter light for traffic turning right, but this does not say 'buses only' as they usually do. 

What do you reckon gentlemen of the Dosbods jury?

Pay up meekly or fight for the rights of the little man?

Edited by Austin Allegro

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As it's a council with all their enforcement powers (unlike the private cos.) I'd put it down to experience and pay up the £30.

I was done for parking in Newbury on a Sunday for a similar sum. There was more than one sign and at first glance (which was all I took) it was ambiguous and my interpreting it as free on Sunday was understandable but not realistically defensible.

£30 paid and forgot about it until your post.

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Just now, Frank Hovis said:

As it's a council with all their enforcement powers (unlike the private cos.) I'd put it down to experience and pay up the £30.

I was done for parking in Newbury on a Sunday for a similar sum. There was more than one sign and at first glance (which was all I took) it was ambiguous and my interpreting it as free on Sunday was understandable but not realistically defensible.

£30 paid and forgot about it until your post.

Looks like the city council has an 'informal challenge' procedure which doesn't affect the severity of the fine if you appeal within 14 days, so I'll probably try that. If it fails I'll pay up and follow it up with a strongly worded letter in the style of Henry Root.  I also feel an 'angry people in local newspapers' moment coming on. 

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6 minutes ago, Austin Allegro said:

Just got a letter about a fine for driving in a bus lane in a well-known cathedral city somewhere in England. £60 or £30 if paid up in 14 days. 

I remember at the time thinking it wasn't clear if I could turn into the road or not. 

Google streetview reveals I was right - the road surface from the road I came out of is marked with 'no right turn' but this was covered by other vehicles at the junction, so I couldn't see it. 

There is no other sign saying ahead only or no right turn, and there is also a green filter light for traffic turning right, but this does not say 'buses only' as they usually do. 

What do you reckon gentlemen of the Dosbods jury?

Pay up meekly or fight for the rights of the little man?

From a cynical gentlewomen, I would just pay up.  It is but a method to gouge as much money as possible from the unsuspecting motorist. Given this, you are fighting a losing battle. 

As an example, my one percent parked his car in a restricted bay.  He put a scratch card in his window, went off and came back to find his car gone. It had been towed. 250 quid. Ouch. 

We appealed on two ground.  One, it was a paid for ticket, just happened to be the wrong one (I don't understand the finer details however the cost of the two different tickets were the same). Two, they had to wait half an hour before towing. We had evidence that it was only 25 minutes.

They told us to fuck off and charged extra for doing so.

Painful but pay the 30 quid and move on   

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10 minutes ago, Austin Allegro said:

Looks like the city council has an 'informal challenge' procedure which doesn't affect the severity of the fine if you appeal within 14 days, so I'll probably try that. If it fails I'll pay up and follow it up with a strongly worded letter in the style of Henry Root.  I also feel an 'angry people in local newspapers' moment coming on. 

The council are very likely to tell you to sod off, even if they know they're in the wrong. You can then take it to an independent adjudicator, but if you lose you'll have to pay £60 rather than £30, apparently.

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-appeal-a-council-parking-ticket

If the signage really is inadequate, and you can demonstrate that you could not have seen the sign prohibiting you from entering the road despite paying attention, then I can't see why you wouldn't win. Apparently 2/3rds of appeals to the adjudicator succeed, so I'd fancy your chances. I'd certainly do it, but then I'm a bit of a truculent bastard with time on my hands, and I can afford to risk 30 quid.

15 minutes ago, One percent said:

From a cynical gentlewomen, I would just pay up.  It is but a method to gouge as much money as possible from the unsuspecting motorist. Given this, you are fighting a losing battle. 

As an example, my one percent parked his car in a restricted bay.  He put a scratch card in his window, went off and came back to find his car gone. It had been towed. 250 quid. Ouch. 

We appealed on two ground.  One, it was a paid for ticket, just happened to be the wrong one (I don't understand the finer details however the cost of the two different tickets were the same). Two, they had to wait half an hour before towing. We had evidence that it was only 25 minutes.

They told us to fuck off and charged extra for doing so.

Painful but pay the 30 quid and move on   

That doesn't sound like a council to me? Was this recently?

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Just now, Rave said:

The council are very likely to tell you to sod off, even if they know they're in the wrong. You can then take it to an independent adjudicator, but if you lose you'll have to pay £60 rather than £30, apparently.

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-appeal-a-council-parking-ticket

If the signage really is inadequate, and you can demonstrate that you could not have seen the sign prohibiting you from entering the road despite paying attention, then I can't see why you wouldn't win. Apparently 2/3rds of appeals to the adjudicator succeed, so I'd fancy your chances. I'd certainly do it, but then I'm a bit of a truculent bastard with time on my hands, and I can afford to risk 30 quid.

They should be made to pay you compensation if they lose. As it stands it's heads they win, tails you lose. They know this. 

2 minutes ago, Rave said:

The council are very likely to tell you to sod off, even if they know they're in the wrong. You can then take it to an independent adjudicator, but if you lose you'll have to pay £60 rather than £30, apparently.

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-appeal-a-council-parking-ticket

If the signage really is inadequate, and you can demonstrate that you could not have seen the sign prohibiting you from entering the road despite paying attention, then I can't see why you wouldn't win. Apparently 2/3rds of appeals to the adjudicator succeed, so I'd fancy your chances. I'd certainly do it, but then I'm a bit of a truculent bastard with time on my hands, and I can afford to risk 30 quid.

That doesn't sound like a council to me? Was this recently?

It was the council. Street parking where they have put designated bays. About ten years ago. 

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Just now, One percent said:

They should be made to pay you compensation if they lose. As it stands it's heads they win, tails you lose. They know this. 

If you win you can claim your expenses for attending the tribunal. I should have claimed when I successfully appealed a parking ticket really, but I couldn't be bothered with the arse-ache for the sake of an 8 quid train ticket.

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Just now, Rave said:

If you win you can claim your expenses for attending the tribunal. I should have claimed when I successfully appealed a parking ticket really, but I couldn't be bothered with the arse-ache for the sake of an 8 quid train ticket.

They should be made to pay your fine back to you x2. 

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Recommend you save yourself the agro, the sooner you pay the sooner you can forget all about it (but never forgive obs). You can't fight the machine, as pissed off as you are now you will only get (much) more so if you try to reason with these fuckers. You've been mugged basically :(

Edited by Mihnjeeta

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There's an article in today's DM about this very thing, your timing might be good if it provokes lots of disputes , could be costly and time consuming legal bills coming for councils. The person involved went back to the location and took photograph showing in the dark the restriction and markings were not clear. Might be worth looking up - if there are any other pointers as to what to present. 

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What's annoying is that I'm pretty sure I got shopped by a police car that was coming in the opposite direction (this is in a city which has about three police officers plus a couple of specials in their seventies - no kidding). In the old days I would have got the bell or flagged down by a PC on the beat, and got a talking to from them at which I could have explained myself. Now it's just flash bang, wallop, what a fine. 

Orwell would be proud!

Edited by Austin Allegro

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4 minutes ago, onlyme said:

There's an article in today's DM about this very thing, your timing might be good if it provokes lots of disputes , could be costly and time consuming legal bills coming for councils. The person involved went back to the location and took photograph showing in the dark the restriction and markings were not clear. Might be worth looking up - if there are any other pointers as to what to present. 

Thanks for that - very interesting. The city is 6/10 in the region for issuing fines, but the main hotspot is not where I got nabbed. 

In an era where we have an abundance of signage for everything, it seems suspicious to me that that junction has not one single mounted sign warning motorists about not turning into a bus lane. 

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23 minutes ago, snagger said:

I paid a similar fine, cutting across a bus lane to turn left a bit too early. I've decided in my own mind, that it was legal theft. I've resolved not to be robbed by the same council again and now shop in other towns, or even more frequently, online.

  

 

I got caught in Birmingham trying to turn at lights into MrsLTS work car park that was less than 3 metres ahead of the bus lane that had a bus in it. My only choice was to either cut across in front of the bus the moment the lights turned green or more sensibly try and get behind it. The traffic flow effectively forced me to briefly traverse the bus lane and frustratingly the camera was obvious and I knew I’d blown it. I later found out that the people using the car park and learned to access it by coming in the opposite direction. I paid up :( 

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11 minutes ago, Mihnjeeta said:

Recommend you save yourself the agro, the sooner you pay the sooner you can forget all about it (but never forgive obs). You can't fight the machine, as pissed off as you are now you will only get (much) more so if you try to reason with these fuckers. You've been mugged basically :(

If 2/3rds of appeals to the adjudicator are allowed, then that would suggest that the system clearly isn't set up for you to fail, would it not?

Like I say, I won my appeal, and in that case it was my word against the Parking Officer. I was entirely guilty of the parking offence, but they believed me when I (quite truthfully) told them that the PO standing by my car when I came back had not even spoken to me, let alone attempted to hand me a ticket.

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58 minutes ago, snagger said:

I paid a similar fine, cutting across a bus lane to turn left a bit too early. I've decided in my own mind, that it was legal theft. I've resolved not to be robbed by the same council again and now shop in other towns, or even more frequently, online.

  

 

Take it one further, become a student, then you wont have to pay their council tax either.

1 hour ago, Austin Allegro said:

Pay up meekly or fight for the rights of the little man?

Council - Pay Up.

Private - Letter to tell them to fxxx off, and ill see you in court.

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2 minutes ago, Green Devil said:

Take it one further, become a student, then you wont have to pay their council tax either.

I never did pay the community charge as a student, I wonder in the City Council are still looking for me?

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3 minutes ago, snagger said:

I never did pay the community charge as a student, I wonder in the City Council are still looking for me?

You ever wonder why all these purpose built student blocks are popping up in every major city? 

So they can get the students out of normal type digs (council tax exempt) and stick them in rabbit hutches.

Edited by Green Devil

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1 hour ago, Austin Allegro said:

Just got a letter about a fine for driving in a bus lane in a well-known cathedral city somewhere in England. £60 or £30 if paid up in 14 days. 

I remember at the time thinking it wasn't clear if I could turn into the road or not. 

Google streetview reveals I was right - the road surface from the road I came out of is marked with 'no right turn' but this was covered by other vehicles at the junction, so I couldn't see it. 

There is no other sign saying ahead only or no right turn, and there is also a green filter light for traffic turning right, but this does not say 'buses only' as they usually do. 

What do you reckon gentlemen of the Dosbods jury?

Pay up meekly or fight for the rights of the little man?

If you can find any flaw in the road markings or signs (size, wording, location, absence, etc.) you could have grounds for appeal.

The definitive document is The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016.

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We could have a whip round for the 30 quid AA stands to lose by appealing to the adjudicator, if he's prepared to fight it all the way :) .

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1 hour ago, Austin Allegro said:

Just got a letter about a fine for driving in a bus lane in a well-known cathedral city somewhere in England. £60 or £30 if paid up in 14 days. 

I remember at the time thinking it wasn't clear if I could turn into the road or not. 

Google streetview reveals I was right - the road surface from the road I came out of is marked with 'no right turn' but this was covered by other vehicles at the junction, so I couldn't see it. 

There is no other sign saying ahead only or no right turn, and there is also a green filter light for traffic turning right, but this does not say 'buses only' as they usually do. 

What do you reckon gentlemen of the Dosbods jury?

Pay up meekly or fight for the rights of the little man?

Jeez don't ever pay up.  Request the video evidence.  They won't be able to supply.  They will write to you stating they will not pursue for admin reasons.

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If there are definitely no signs on sticks anywhere etc and the road signs are regularly masked by other cars it's likely that lots of other people have been caught out and have appealed and complained to the council about it.  It might even have been mentioned in the local newspapers and telly etc and on other internet forums.  Sometimes there are action groups on the issue of a particular junction/bus lane.

If you haven't already done it then it might be worth an internet search to check that - giving the town/city and bus lane/junction/street details etc.   

Also if it's cctv there might be a photo/video available on the council website to show your car with registration number in the bus lane and that might shed some further light on the situation on that day (confirming cars masking signs on the road etc).  The website details should be mentioned in the letter you received.

Edited by twocents

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2 minutes ago, Ina said:

Jeez don't ever pay up.  Request the video evidence.  They won't be able to supply.  They will write to you stating they will not pursue for admin reasons.

Video? It will be a picture of your car on ANPR. Though i would of thought they would of sent it with the fine. The did when i got sent a bill for going through a bus only light.

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