Wondered if anybody can give me some advice. I’ve recenty moved flat and half a mile from home there’s a traffic bollard on Queenstown road with an arrow pointing left. Hands up, I’ve gone round it on the right a few times when its been blocked with traffic on the left, thinking nothing of it given the road was clear in the other direction and there is no pedestrian hazard.
Then about two weeks ago I got a penalty notice from the council saying I’d been monitored on CCTV going round it about seven weeks ago and owed them £60 as a result. Seething, I paid it, depite it just being a revenue raising operation, I’d done wrong so had to face the consequences on that occasion. Of course I haven’t gone round the bollard since. I also then noticed someone had scribbled on the bollard ‘Bikers, beware CCTV scam here’, doubtless in a similar situation to me.
A few days later, I get another notice through, same thing, different day. I couldn’t believe it, but rightly or wrongly paid up again - £120 down the drain so far. Then today, I get two more notices through on the same day, again ‘offence’ commited on different days some 5 - 6 weeks back. Its now ridiculous, thats four time and a total fine cost of £240. My point is, I’ve done wrong, I’ve been fined, I’ve corrected my behavour, yet still the fines comes through the door, its a blatant money making scheme and their laughing as they rake it in.
So, can I lodge any kind of appeal? the costs are getting ridiculous and I’m being fined over and again depsite not going round the bollard since the first notice came through. It completely unethical - has anybody got any idea how I can try to plead for some common sense? Surely I don’t just keep mindlessly coughing up until the letters stop??
You could look at the time limit. I can’t see why this would be any different to a speeding ticket.
Write back saying you can’t remember who was riding the bike that day as it was so long ago, and therefore you are not sure who actually broke the rule, and therefore who should pay the fine.
Politely request that next time they send the notice in a timely fashion so that you can be sure who was riding the bike that day.
See what happens.
You must be notified of a speeding ticket from a Gatso within 14 days to give you a chance to remember who was driving on the day of the speeding offence. I don’t see why these road traffic should be any different.
The only problem is they may be vehicle specific, which is to say the owner of the vehicle is responsible for the offence, regardless of who was driving, but that is quite unlikely. I think there are good legal reasons why that is not possible or else they would have done it with speeding tickets by now.
It’s quite different to a speeding ticket 'cos a speeding ticket results in points on your licence along with the fine whereas this is purely a financial penalty & therefore in the same category as a parking offence.
As there’s no licence to endorse, like a parking offence it’s the registered keeper of the vehicle that’s liable for the fine not the driver/rider, there’s no 14 day limit.
As you also live in Wandsworth, your best approach is to find out when & where your local councillor & MP hold their constituent surgeries, then go & have a word with them Explain your situation, sound penitent & make the point that you’ve learnt the error of your ways so shouldn’t be punished for the same error more than once, etc. etc. You’d be surprised how much clout a local councillor can exercise, especially in the current climate 'cos with the substantial cuts that are on the way, the relevant depts will be going out of their way to keep on the right side of the people that will be deciding the budget axe will swing.
Failing to obey the keep left signs on islands (“off-siding”) is considered a serious and dangerous matter by traffic police which is why they go so hard on it. Luckily you are being done by CCTV. Theoretically the maximum penalty for the offence (careless or inconsiderate driving) is up to 9 points and a £5000 fine plus a discretionary ban. The police take it seriously because statistically a lot of accidents take place involving off-siding bikers. For example, whilst you are off-siding the vehicles beyond the island may pull out or over in the knowledge that no vehicle will be passing the island on the right. Pedestrians you can’t see may start to cross and not expect traffic to approach from that direction etc. I have seen many near misses where off-siding bikes have almost collided with bikes and cycles that are emerging after passing the island on the legal side etc.
A copper recently told me that off-siding these mandatory signs has been decriminalised. Hence you are fair game for a council cctv junky. So no points in your paperwork, but they can fine you, I believe. Councils are revenue raising for sure, you are fair game. As far as off siding goes, on a bike if you can see all round, whats the problem? Cyclists do all sorts of stuff like that but with no licence plate, they are not going to get a ticket are they. If you refuse to pay I’m not sure what the council will do… its like a parking fine isnt it?
Sorry to hear of the hefty fines but I would see it as an important lesson learnt, seemingly an expensive one on the surface but a very, very cheap one compared to the possible consequences of the alternative.
Ok thanks guys, looks like I have no option but to keep paying them until they stop coming through then. I’ll be having a word with my councillor as you say though Pat - the whole things disgusts me. If any of the circumstances within which I’d gone round the damn thing were unsafe, it would be a different matter - but I’m not that irresponsible!
To the OP- you don’t need to see the councillor although that might help. First just call or write and appeal for leniency based on the fact you were done for the same thing on consecutive days. You will most likely be let off most of them and get a refund although it might take six months to come through. Had a similar situation with bus lane fines in a poorly marked section and got let off two out of three.
As for off-siding I never do it now as apart from the safety aspects I’m never in £60 worth of a hurry!
Happened to me on a yellow lined bus lane… Got the first, stopped doing it, then got 3 more from the same week!!! I should have appealed but I knew I was wrong, so just coughed it up and behaved myself…