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Bus Gate Fine Appeal

Accessible Corstorphine for Everyone (ACE) has uncovered concerning evidence indicating that the City of Edinburgh Council not only failed to carry out a Stage 3 Safety Audit for the Corstorphine LTN within the prescribed time frame, but also delayed the public release of the report. 

 

The report disclosed that the signage at the Manse Road bus gate was deemed "misleading," potentially causing drivers to engage in "un-permitted use." leading to a £60 penalty, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

 

The attached Stage 3 Road Safety Audit for the Manse Road Bus Gate, obtained by ACE through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the City of Edinburgh Council, should have been conducted in accordance with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, (guidance document GG 119). According to the manual, the audit should ideally be carried out when the scheme is substantially complete, preferably before opening to road users, or at the latest within one month of opening, unless alternative timelines are agreed upon with the overseeing organisation. 

 

The Corstorphine LTN, including the Manse Road bus gate, was implemented on 24th May 2023 however, despite the issuing bus gate fines from June 2023, the site was not inspected until 1st August 2023, with the audit report was only issued to the City of Edinburgh Council on 8th September 2023. It remains unclear if this delay had approval from the overseeing authority, and notably, the report is yet to be formally published on the Corstorphine Connections Website.

 

The report, prepared by traffic experts from the consultant Atkins on behalf of the council, strongly criticises the signage leading to the Manse Road Bus Gate. 

 

Problem 3.10 (page 17) states that "Advanced signs for the bus gate are potentially unclear and may mislead drivers to continue towards the bus gate at times of operation, resulting in the need for three-point turns across live traffic"  and "The erected signs could therefore misinform drivers of the restrictions and result in unpermitted use, frustration and higher speeds on local roads.”

 

This contradicts the following statement made in the attached letter rejecting an appeal against a bus gate fine:

 

"The bus gate has ample signs and road markings to inform drivers in advance of the restrictions, on approach and at the bus gate itself to make drivers aware of the new regulations”.

 

It is concerning that the convener of the Transport and Environment Committee, Cllr Scott Arthur, directly contradicted the findings of the road safety experts in a Twitter / X post on the 13th September 2023. We acknowledge the possibility that Cllr Arthur was unaware of the report’s findings when the post was made, however it would have been more prudent to refrain from commenting pending receipt of the report.

 

The council's response to the audit, issued on 2nd November 2023, indicates that the signage at the entrance to Manse Road from Corstorphine High Street was updated on 25th October 2023. However, substantial fines had already been collected by that date from motorists who had fallen victim to the perplexing signage prior to the update.

 

A separate FOI request revealed that within the initial two months of operation, the bus gate's ANPR cameras generated fines totaling nearly £100,000, highlighting the significant level of confusion experienced by motorists due to the existing arrangements. This equates to one fine every three minutes of the operating period.

 

The City of Edinburgh Council faces critical questions regarding the delayed completion and publication of the audit report, coupled with fines imposed during a period when the signage was deemed inadequate.

The following grounds for appeal are found in schedule 6, section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1991.

Using these grounds, you might want to appeal because:

  • you did not own the vehicle when it got the ticket

  • it did not happen e.g. your parking time had not run out

  • the vehicle was stolen or taken without your permission

  • the signs or road markings were not correct

  • the penalty was more than it should have been

  • your car was towed away incorrectly and you want a refund on the recovery fee

  • you're a car hire firm, the vehicle was hired out at the time and the driver signed a 'liability agreement' for any penalty charge notice

  • the council did not follow the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 1999

You can use the template below to ask the Transport Appeals Tribunal to 

 

 

if you have been fined and the council has refused your appeal, if you have no

[Your Name]

[Address]
[City]
[Post code]

[Email]

[Contact Number)1

[

24 Station Road
Giltham
GT16 3LP

18 January 2024

Reference number: 2015/23

To whom it may concern,

I have discovered the following problem with the work:

The brick paving on the driveway has been installed badly. The cement between slabs has not set or is missing and it is dangerous to drive on.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that reasonable care and skill must be used while working. In my opinion, you did not use reasonable care and skill when you carried out this work and you have broken your contract with me.

I ask that you:

Reset the paving. As a good will gesture I also request a 5% discount on the price of the job for the inconvenience your poor quality of work has caused me as I haven’t been able to use my drive for a long time.

Please contact me as soon as possible, and no later than 5 days from the date on this letter, to agree a date by which this work will be put right.

If I do not hear back from you in the time suggested above, I will consider taking further action and seeking legal advice.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Sam Hoolin

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