Tim Cary of Traffic Lawyers is interviewed by Minister FM in respect of a Traffic Adjudicator’s decision regarding two bus lane restrictions in York
On 1 April 2014 the Traffic Adjudicator decided the City of York Council could not issue fines from cameras at two locations in the city. The decision came after the large number of appeals relating to the Coppergate bus street and the restriction at Lendal Bridge.
The two restrictions have resulted in the issue of a substantial number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). Reports from the media in the area suggest that a thousand PCNs a week were being issued immediately following the commencement of camera enforcement.
The restrictions have given rise to considerable public and media interest in the York area. As a result, the Traffic Adjudicator considered it appropriate to issue a consolidated decision dealing with the generic issues common to both restrictions and the particular issues about the signing at each of them.
The role of the Adjudicator is to consider whether a penalty charge is payable by any particular Appellant. That decision must be made on the basis of the grounds of challenge which are set out in Regulation 9 of the Bus Lane Contraventions (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005. Essentially these are limited to a decision as to whether:
a) A contravention occurred;
b) Whether any Appellant was the owner or hirer of the vehicle; and
c) The amount of the penalty charge exceeded that which was applicable in the circumstances of the case.
The question of whether the contravention occurred does include consideration of the signing at the location to see if it was adequate so as to bring the terms and the extent of the restriction to the notice of the approaching driver.
The question is whether the Council has correctly established a bus lane or street at either location so that camera enforcement is permissible.
In the Taffic Adjudicator’s judgment, neither Coppergate nor Lendal Bridge can sensibly be described as a bus lane, street or gate but rather the roads are part of a general traffic scheme from which non-exempt vehicles are restricted at certain times and where buses are just one of the excepted categories of classes of vehicle.
In respect of the Coppergate restriction, the Traffic Adjudicator found the signing was not adequate and he was not satisfied that the restriction at either end of Coppergate can be enforced. In comparison, the Traffic Adjudicator ruled that even though the Lendal Bridge signing can be regarded as adequate after January 2014, it remains the case that the Council should not be permitted to issues PCNs on the basis of the evidence from the roadside cameras because the restriction was not on any reasonable view a bus street.
The Council have stated they are now seeking legal advice in respect of the matter.
Tim Cary of Traffic Lawyers has been interviewed today by Minister FM regarding the situation. He has provided advice on what people should do if they receive a PCN at either location and commented on whether such restrict