The Silly Season

August 5, 2007

This news item culled from the Hamstead & Highgate Express 2/8/2007. Look like it’s one rule for them and another for us, as usual.

Double yellow peril is nothing for CCTV car

A CHEEKY council CCTV car driver spent a lucrative afternoon catching drivers illegally entering a box junction – while parked on a double yellow line.

Council workers sat in the car snapping motorists last Friday from the no parking spot on the corner of Compayne Gardens and West End Lane.

The car issued seven penalty charge notices to drivers who ignored a “no right turn” sign.

Double yellow lines ban parking 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because parking there is dangerous.

But a Camden Council spokesman said: “Our CCTV cars have permission to park on yellow lines as occasionally this is the only way they can capture the necessary information on vehicles that are breaking the law.

“The CCTV cars will only park in this way when it is both necessary and safe for them to do so/’


Authorised Box Junctions

January 3, 2007

If a box junction is to be enforced then it should comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (usually abbreviated to TSRGD). However, if the Local Authority can demonstrate good reason why it is impossible to comply fully with TSRGD, and justify the need for the box junction, then the Secretary of State for Transport can, in exceptional circumstances, specifically authorise the use of a non compliant junction.

If there was a handful of such authorised junctions in the London area then you might believe the above statement, but just look at the list that has been authorised since enforcement began, particularly in 2006. It looks like Transport for London order authorisations by the container load and the Department for Transport (DfT) just rubber stamp them.

It would appear that TSRGD compliant box junctions are becoming the exception rather than the rule. The cynics amongst us might even suspect the DfT is being complicit in allowing Local Authorities to tax farm junctions that present drivers with difficulties.

Judge for yourself; the list is as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

League Tables

December 28, 2006

“What you have to remember is that civil servants use vagueness and ambiguity with razor-sharp precision” (Senior Civil Servant)

[This post was revised on 31 Dec 06 to correct errors and omissions spotted by ‘spaceman’ ]

The London Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) is staffed by a bunch of lawyers who are very good at dispensing justice, and they produce an informative newsletter from time to time containing statistics of their appeals.

We have the data from April 2005 though to September 2006 for moving traffic appeals which include box junctions. These figures are broken down for each of the relevant authorities. Prior to 2005 they were lumped together.

The “big hitters” over this period are Camden, Ealing, Newham and TfL. The graphs show the percentage of successful appeals. The blue area shows the proportion of appeals that went uncontested and the red were contested, but lost.


Camden Appeals Allowed

Camden have seen a rise in the number of appeals from 20 to almost 300 over this period. They got off to a good start, but as the number of appeals rose the more they lost. However, they seem to have reversed this trend recently.


Ealing Appeals Allowed

I happen to know that Ealing had a lot of trouble with their PCNs to begin with which probably accounts for the 86% success rate in the first quarter. However, it looks like it is well worth appealing against Ealing for the time being.


Newham Appeals Allowed

Although Newham has been enforcing moving traffic contraventions since the start their performance is patchy. The number of appeals has actually halved over this period, and in Q3 of 2005/6 they only had 2 appeals. Maybe they have got better at challenging them.


TfL Appeals Allowed

TfL has only seen a small rise from 80 to 135 appeals over this period and they seem to have become better at challenging them.

The system is, in bureaucratic terms, still fairly new and everyone is still learning. It looks like TfL is learning faster than most. My suspicion is that Camden was unprepared for a sharp increase in appeals, and that despite challenging more, Ealing has completely lost the plot. It is difficult to draw any conclusions from Newham as it is so variable.

I have some other data for box junctions only which I am currently processing. It will be posted in due course.

Decisions, decisions

November 17, 2006

“He who only knows his side of the case knows little of that” (John Stuart Mill)

The Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) pubishes a very small selection of case judgments on their website. There is any one published case pertaining to yellow box junctions, that of Place Invaders -v- TfL.

However, if you get in touch they are very helpful and I have obtained copies of the judgements for Fielden -v- TfL and Greene -v- Camden Council. Apparently there are over 400 cases relating to yellow box junctions! I shall make it my mission to get hold of them and publish as much as possible that is useful.

You will see a lot of references to figures 1043 and 1044 in documents relating to box junctions. Well here they are.

As an aside be warned the PATAS website is technically very poor and only works with MS Internet Explore. If, like me you use Firefox, their pages look a mess.