Lambeth Road Bus Lane PCN
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.