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Stoke Newington Chambers

No left turns on Mare Street

Posted on: August 21st, 2018 | in DIY Law, Road Traffic law

No left turn on Mare Street

Let’s me start by saying: The following is not legal advice. I have no idea whether any particular person should appeal their PCN or not. The following is offered for information purposes only.

I’ve been following the Hackney Gazette’s reporting that 6,596 fines were given to 4,589 drivers for failing to comply with a recently installed No Left Turn sign on Mare Street – and that Hackney Council, as I understand the Gazette’s estimate, have been taking charging circa £100K in fines per week in respect of this particular No Left Turn sign alone.

Look at the two photographs the Gazette has posted. One is time-stamped at 12 June 2018. The other is assumed to be more recent (I did not take the photos, so I cannot know when they were taken). Now look at the difference between that 12 June stack of signage and that of the evidently more recent photograph taken by Polly Hancock.

For starters, it appears that the No Left Turn sign as at 12 June may be tilted away from the lane (perhaps it is just the camera angle. I could not possibly comment, as you will need to collect and satisfy yourself as to any evidence) – and that the No Left Turn sign is at the top of a stack of three signs.

Comparing that with the presumed to be more recent Polly Hancock photograph, the No Left Turn sign appears to have been re-positioned to the middle of the stack – and that strange tilt away from the lane is gone. (At the risk of sounding like Arsene Wenger – maybe it is a photoshop – I don’t know – why don’t you ask somebody who knows?).

I’ve had a wee look at the Traffic Signs Manual mostly, because I do have to wonder if the Council may have re-positioned the No Left Turn sign for a reason.

The first thing I read in the Sign Manual that was of interest was the part of the Introduction which reads:

it is for traffic authorities to determine what signing is necessary to meet those duties, although failure to follow the Manual’s guidance without good reason might well lead to enforcement difficulties. In particular, adjudicators might consider such failure to be evidence that the signing was unclear. Traffic authorities should always remember that the purpose of regulatory signs is to ensure that drivers clearly understand what restrictions or prohibitions are in force.

Then, my attention was drawn to what the Sign Manual has to say about the mounting height of signs as well as the number of signs on a post.

I then went to the London Tribunals Environment and Traffic Adjudicators ETA Register of Appeals (Statutory Register). I was drawn to case reference 2160444800 Appellant Edward Dixon, Authority: London Borough of Haringey.

In Mr Dixon’s case, he argued that the sign was too low. The Tribunal allowed Mr Dixon’s appeal, quoting the Sign Manual.

Potential appellants will no doubt want to research the evidence and the law for themselves as to whether or not Hackney Council have failed to comply with Sign Manual and / or any other regulatory requirements.

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