Traffic Penalty Tribunal

Example Cases

Condition of signs and lines

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A good many cases concern the state of road markings where they have become worn.

A council's obligation to maintain signs/markings is to be found at Regulation 18(1) of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996.

The state and quality of double yellow lines (BO 355)
The appellant, issued with a PCN for parking on double yellow lines in a restricted area, appealed on the ground that the lines were not at all distinct. The Adjudicator said that the Regulations provided that a council's lines "shall be of the size, colour and type shown on [the] diagram". In his opinion, it was not the law that the lines should be in a perfect condition all of the time; councils could not be expected to repaint them at regular intervals or every time road repairs may have created minor diversions. What was important was whether or not the state and quality of the lines at any one time made it clear to motorists that there were in fact double yellow lines there. While lines became worn and faded in varying degrees from time to time for various reasons, they were still enforceable if a motorist, looking at the state and quality of the lines, would inevitably have to say to himself that, despite their minor imperfections and fading colour, it was nonetheless clear that they were - and remained - double yellow lines. strong. The appeal was dismissed.

Indistinct - but "adequate" - yellow lines (OX 828)
The appellant, issued with a PCN for parking in a restricted area, appealed on the ground that the yellow lines were not at all distinct. The Adjudicator found that, although the yellow lines were worn and no longer bright and fresh, they were nonetheless adequate to inform the motorist of the restriction.
The appeal was dismissed.

Restriction sign obscured by foliage (MK 329)
The appellant, issued with a PCN for parking in a restricted area, appealed on the ground that the signs had been obscured by foliage and therefore not visible. The Adjudicator found that, while the sign in question was in good condition and may well have been perfectly visible in winter, even signage in pristine condition must also be visible. The sign was insufficiently visible during August, the time of the alleged contravention when the trees were in full leaf, to alert the appellant, a visitor to the area, to the presence of a restriction.
The appeal was allowed.

Signage in situ at variance with that marked on plan (BM2145)
The appellant, issued with a PCN for parking in a restricted area, appealed on the ground that the positioning of the signs was confusing. The Adjudicator noted that, from the photographic evidence, the signage actually present was not as shown on the council's plan. The council attended the hearing, acknowledged the discrepancy and indicated that the matter would be looked into. Shortly afterwards, new signage was erected along the whole length of the road.
The appeal was allowed.

Inadequate restriction signage (MW643)
The appellant had parked on double yellow lines on an access road using their Blue Badge and was issued with a PCN for parking outside a marked bay. They appealed on the ground that there were no signs in evidence. Photographs produced in evidence showed that no signs were displayed prohibiting such parking. The council argued that the access road was part of the car park, hence "off street", so the Blue Badge entitlement was not applicable. The Adjudicator held that the signage was inadequate for informing users that the restrictions that required parking within marked bays extended to the access road.
The appeal was allowed.

Failure to sign temporary parking suspension (PO1013)
A council had published its intention to close a car park on a certain day. On that day, the appellant drove to a fair following AA signs and parked in the car park alongside several other cars. The ticket-issuing machine was covered with a yellow bag and it was assumed by everyone that, as the council had arranged the fair, it had waived the charge for the day. On returning to her vehicle, the appellant found that she had been issued with a PCN for parking in a restricted area, and appealed on the ground that the signs had been non-existent. The Adjudicator held that such signs as there may have been (and that was an issue of contention) were inadequate and failed to warn of the suspension of parking.
The appeal was allowed.

Obscured signs and lack of lines (MK301)
The appellant, issued with a PCN for parking in a restricted area on market day, appealed on the ground that the signs were not apparent and the lines were indistinct. The Adjudicator found that, while restrictions applied on market days, the sign indicating restrictions was obscured by a market trader's awning, a further sign was incorrectly coloured and there was no proper line at the end of a block of spaces to indicate the start of permit-only parking.
The appeal was allowed.

Failure to sign a Restricted Zone properly (ET05061E)
(A Restricted Zone, which is relatively uncommon, is an area with heritage status where it is considered necessary to keep carriageway and roadside signs to a minimum. A council wishing to establish a Restricted Zone must obtain authorisation from the Department for Transport, permitting them to erect signs indicating entry to the Restricted Zone, throughout which a uniform restriction applies prohibiting waiting at all times. They are also required to put up smaller roadside plates throughout the zone "in sufficient numbers to give adequate information to road users of the waiting restrictions in force....". The usual double yellow lines are then unnecessary.)

The appellant, who parked in a Restricted Zone and was issued with a PCN for parking in contravention of the bylaw, appealed on the ground that there were no obvious signs and that a combination of an inconspicuous entry sign, a stray length of yellow line and the absence of any roadside plates had led them to believe that parking was unrestricted. The Adjudicator held that the council should have recognised that the concept of a Restricted Zone was not necessarily widely known among drivers, because the use of such zones was so limited. While such lack of knowledge may not be a defence, the council should recognise that it may be necessary to reinforce the message that waiting is prohibited at all times by, for example, the use of roadside plates that appear throughout the zone.
The appeal was allowed.