If you too have a PCN from Lambeth council for leaving the Novotel car park and turning left, then read this from Andrea. She has posted on my YouTube page about an identical scenario and had the PCN revoked. This is great news in 2020 for everyone caught on this camera. The following is a quote from her comment on my YouTube channel.
Here’s how to win your case!
Andrea Charles2 Hi everyone. Just been to my tribunal to argue my case against my PCN. I won the appeal. 😀 The adjudicator agreed that a solid white line , on its own, is not enough signage to indicate a bus lane. That was the main crux of why I won. I had only ever driven from the embankment to the Novotel and back again and so he agreed I could not have been aware of signs posted further along the road at, eg Sail Street. He also agreed that the markings heading towards the embankment are, as we all know, out of sight to the driver when exiting the Novotel. Common sense has finally prevailed. I have no idea what this means for everyone else who has already paid a PCN, following exactly the same route in and out of the Hotel as me, but it must mean the council cannot make this charge stick anymore. There needs clarification on this. I will write to the council about it. Feel like we are getting somewhere with it though.
New Bus Lane Sinage
The council has stated that it has recently painted the words BUS LANE in the bus lane to show the adjudicators that they have added new sinage. If you look at the photographs below you can almost see where they have placed the words. You would think they would have put them outside the Novotel exit to assist motorists in keeping out of their bus lane… But no!
Look at photograph two to see exactly where they have “hidden” their new sign. Yes it’s 30 meters away, directly underneath their camera, and it is outside the hotel, but of no help what so ever to guide the hapless motorist exiting the car park to avoid their cash cow bus lane. If you still don’t believe the council are the “bad guys” then this act of defiance proves my very point.
Photographs kindly provided by Alfonso Ristorato
“The words BUS LANE have been painted, not directly outside the car park exit but a bit before.”Alfonso Ristorato Novotel Manager
Earlier in 2019
It’s 2019 now and I have had many comments on this post and on YouTube about this bus lane issue. There is some good news from a YouTuber called ‘sean rof’ that has been caught with the same camera and given a Lambeth Road Bus Lane PCN. He is going to attend the adjudicator hearing in person in London. Sean has asked if he can use my video to show the adjudicator exactly what the council have done to entrap unsuspecting motorists like us! I wish him all the success in his endeavours at this meeting. Please re-visit this page to get the latest update on the outcome of his bus lane PCN.
Download Your PCN Response
Sean has kindly supplied his successful PCN Response for you to Download Here. Please amend to your own circumstances when submitting your defense.
Quote from YouTube
Hi Tim. I recently received a ticket for the same ‘offence’ just before xmas. My wife left the car at the Novotel the day before, and was taken ill, so I went to collect the car in the morning. I performed the same man-oeuvre as you, and received a ticket. I appealed online, but it was rejected and I was told to pay the full amount. In the rejection letter, the guy talks about how well signed it is for being a bus lane further down the road. How is that supposed to help me , when I am picking up the car and never driven on this road before ? I am never gaining an advantage when the roads are clear at 9am on a Sunday , have never received a ticket in my life or purposely driven in a bus lane. When I look to my left it just looks like a pedestrian crossing, so I drove through it. When I saw the bus lane signs, I pulled out. I think its outrageous that people are being unwittingly scammed, especially with the position of the councils camera. If my second appeal , which I have just posted, is rejected, I wont pay as you have done. I will take the day off work and go to a private adjudicator. I would rather lose a days money ( more than £130 ), than pay for this. I have provided a link to this video in my latest appeal to Lambeth. Could you please also give your permission that I use it at a private adjudication, should that arise ? Thanks Tim.sean rof
Also Sean has given a link to a forum discussing this case in great detail. New victims of this camera will find lots of good information regarding appealing this case…
How I got my PCN back in 2016…
All motorists should respect bus lanes as they help to speed up public transport. But when bus lanes are designed as entrapment lanes then respect goes out of the window. Five years ago, approximately 321,000 bus lane fines or ‘infringement tickets’ were issued. But last year that figure had climbed to over one million, raising around £30 million in revenue for cash-strapped councils. Have a look at my video below and see if you agree.
Music: Frothy-Tinkling by Setuniman at www.freesound.org/people/setuniman/
“Some people believe that many local authorities use bus lanes as a tool to generate much needed revenue. We have seen many adjudicators’ decisions where the local authority have been criticised for overzealous enforcement. The cost of a penalty charge for a bus lane contravention in London rose in April 2011 to £130. This is 50% more than a fixed penalty for shoplifting! In the rest of the country the cost is either £60 or £70. However, as we have discovered, much enforcement is carried out erroneously or even illegally – for example many bus lanes are longer than they should be and not marked or signed correctly, yet the enforcing authority continue to issue penalty charge notices – often illegally.” ~Quote from http://penaltychargenotice.co.uk/bus-lanes/
I was working in London at the Park Plaza on the Embankment. The nearest parking place was a short walk away on Lambeth Road, at the Novotel just south of the river.
I parked there at around 8am and returned to pick the car up after 5pm. I drove out of the exit and straight onto a bus lane (which I didn’t realise was a bus lane) and turned left. There was a line of traffic I assumed were turning right at the roundabout. The Zebra crossing zigzag lines also masked the idea of a bus lane. It wasn’t until I drove around the corner that I saw in big letters in the road BUS LANE. I maneuvered around that to turn left at the roundabout to pick up my colleagues further on.
Today I had a brown envelope with a Lambeth Penalty Charge Notice, stating that I had contravened the bus lane and was directed to a website that had pictures of my misdemeanor. They wanted £130 for the penalty which is reduced to £65 if I pay up before 28 days. Talk about highway robbery! So I decided to contest the charge notice and began writing my defense document.
The first thing I did was to check out the scene of the “crime” on Googles Street View. I had a look around and couldn’t find any evidence of bus lane signage. Then I discovered a different view of the very same street from an earlier time. And there was my defense. They had resurfaced the road, complete with white lines but what they hadn’t done was to add the earlier red bus lane which is a complete and obvious “No No” to any driver.
The council did not have a bus lane camera when Google took this picture because it is clearly absent on the street lamp further down.
Here is the same exit onto a completely unmarked and unsigned bus lane. Tell me, would you realise you were entering a bus lane from all you could see here? I think it is grossly unfair as they have taken away the red lane and added a camera just to entrap in-experienced drivers on this particular exit. Link to Google Street View
I am considering emailing this information the the desk staff at Novotel so they can warn drivers of the immediate dangers once out of their premises. I think it is grossly unfair if the Lambeth authorities reject my claim and I have to pay them £65 for my ignorance of their scam, because that’s exactly what it is!
Critics accuse councils of using funds raised by bus lane fines to make up for the shortfall in local budgets, as unlike with speeding fines, the revenue goes to local authorities. The total value of penalty notices issued for bus lane infringements in England and Scotland last year was £76m.
This has made me so angry especially after reading the following article from Sky news about the new bus lane scams popping up around the country:
The ping pong game called PCN
The PCN landed on my doormat on the 2nd August 2016 and the following back and forth letters are documented here. Because there is so much information on this post I have condensed the appeal and rejection letters into the following “Accordion.”
Click the + button to reveal content
The whole exercise has cost me £130.00, but I have made a video which makes me feel much better!
- We’ve seen the council place a surveillance camera pointing at the only exit that has no signage.
- We have seen that they have removed the ‘bus lane defining’ red asphalt.
- And we’ve also noted the distinct lack of bus lane signage on the exit of the car park.
All in all, I feel that it adds up to a blatent case of entrapment, which I think results in, HIGHWAY ROBBERY
What do you think? Please leave your comments below, thank you.