Glasgow man fined for bus lane contravention allowed Upper Tribunal appeal based on poor road markings

Glasgow man fined for bus lane contravention allowed Upper Tribunal appeal based on poor road markings

A Glasgow man who was given a penalty notice after driving through a bus lane has been allowed a limited appeal to the Upper Tribunal for Scotland after arguing that the markings were not sufficiently clear until the area he had been photographed in.

It was argued by John Hazard that the bus lane he had driven through was not adequately marked out by the local authority. Mr Hazard had previously won an appeal against an alleged parking contravention before the Upper Tribunal in which he had argued that a parking bat was not sufficiently marked out.

The application was considered by Sheriff George Jamieson of the Upper Tribunal. The appellant made representations in person, while the respondent was represented by Mr Beglin, the Group Manager of Parking Services for Glasgow City Council.

Unbroken line

It was accepted by the appellant that he had driven through the bus lane during a period of traffic regulation. However, he maintained that he should not have to pay a fine because the road markings designating the bus lane were not “solid, unbroken and continuous.” At an oral hearing of the UTS, he explained that he had found this phrase in a book published by HM Stationary Office he had purchased in a second hand bookshop in Glasgow and since misplaced.

The appellant’s second ground of appeal was that the First-tier Tribunal had not taken into account, in its decision, evidence he had presented to the FTS showing that the bus lane was not a solid and unbroken line for its whole length. He explained further that he had entered the bus lane on leaving a parking bay at a point where the road signage was significantly degraded with a view to joining the main carriageway. He had been forced to continue in the bus lane as no driver in the carriageway would initially allow him to exit the bus lane.

When the appellant was eventually able to exit the lane, the respondent’s camera recorded him at a point where the lane signage was in fact solid, unbroken and continuous. For the respondent it was submitted that the appellant did not dispute entering and driving along the bus lane. The First-tier Tribunal had reached the correct conclusion, as he had been photographed driving his vehicle within the continuous white line of the bus lane.

Specific question

In his decision, Sheriff Jamieson said of the appellant’s position: “I do not agree with the appellant that this is an accurate statement of the law. However, bus lane road markings must, in law, give adequate notice of the bus lane restriction to road users such as the appellant.”

He continued: “I accept the Appellant may have come across the phrase ‘solid, unbroken and continuous’ in an HMSO publication he purchased in a second hand book shop in Glasgow some years ago; however, this publication was not available for me to check; moreover, if this publication were guidance from the Department for Transport on road traffic signs, then it has probably been superseded by the current version of the Traffic Signs Manual issued from 2018 onwards to take account of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016.”

Turning to the second ground of appeal, Sheriff Jamieson said: “The decision of the FTS refers only to the evidence of the alleged contravention submitted by the respondent; it does not specifically refer to nor discuss the appellant’s photographic evidence showing the bus lane road line was significantly degraded at the appellant’s point of entry to the bus lane.”

He added: “The FTS did not consider the requirement set out in paragraph 9.3.2 of chapter 3 of the Traffic Signs Manual that the bus line required to be separated from the rest of the carriageway by a continuous line; instead, the FTS focused only on the condition of the bus lane at the point the alleged contravention was recorded by the Respondent’s camera.”

Finally, the sheriff concluded: “The FTS did not identify and ask the specific question identified by Stanley Burnton LJ in R (on the application of Herron) v Parking Adjudicator (2011). [53] That question was whether the road traffic sign, in other words the line marking out the bus lane, was ‘in substantial compliance with the statutory specification, and not such as to mislead or fail to inform the motorist’.”

The appeal was therefore allowed to proceed solely on the basis of the second ground of appeal.

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