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Luck Comes in Threes - My appeal to
Cardiff City Council


Although I had paid my £35 fine I had at the same time expressed a doubt about the signage and I was surprised to get a letter from Cardiff City Council giving me 21 days to send in evidence to support an appeal. I was really wanting to put it all behind me and move on because it would have involved going to Cardiff, visiting the scene of my crime to check whether my suspicions were correct and then an anxious wait to see whether I was going to be pronounced guilty or not guilty. It seemed an awful lot of bother for £35. However someone suggested Google street view so I could do my research without leaving the house.

I found that a motorist wishing to get where I wanted to go is actually encouraged to use the bus lane. When I had the letter telling me that I had transgressed I had remembered seeing an arrow directing me into the bus lane, the bus lane at that point is not marked as a bus lane nor do any markings appear until you are directly under the camera, quite some distance away. In fact at the point where I entered Custom House Street I was actually in a one-way street as far as cars are concerned because there was only the forbidden bus lane and the lane for approaching cars.

Therefore I set my case and posted it to Cardiff City Council. Here it is:-

22nd August 2016

Penalty charge No: QC71622939

Dear Sirs

With reference to my letter of the 8th of August enclosing my cheque for £35 in respect of the above penalty charge and your letter of the 15th August inviting me to submit evidence for your consideration I have researched this matter and can reply as follows

I expressed doubts about appropriate signage because I was following my SatNav which directed me to the left hand lane and also I was convinced that there was an arrow on my lane directing me to the left. I could not be certain about the arrow in my lane because memory can play tricks but of the SatNav system directing me to the left I am convinced. Using Google Street View I see that there certainly is an arrow which directs motorists into the bus lane, also I am surprised that the bus lane is not plastered with markings which clearly show it as a bus lane. The photograph of my car taken by the overhead camera shows the wording ‘Bus Lane Only’ underneath my car but along the whole stretch in view approaching this spot there is a total absence of such markings.

I see that Wales Online on the 16th January informed its readers that almost 89,000 motorists have been caught by bus lane cameras in the City and the most profitable is the one in Custom House Street. 89,000 drivers paying a minimum of £35 each amounts to £3,115,000 of revenue. In view of this the City Council can hardly say that it is so strapped for cash that it cannot provide sufficient signage to enable motorists to properly recognise bus lanes. The fact that so many people have been caught in itself proves beyond doubt that the signage is nowhere near enough.

No motorist is going to deliberately drive along a bus lane in order to charitably supply the City Council with £35 so it would be fair to say that each one has been lured into a trap. Milking is something that farmers do but Cardiff City Council seem to be able to legally make more money milking motorists than the dairy industry could ever hope to do.

The question here is whether bus lanes are an instrument of traffic management or a revenue raising exercise. Surely it would be very difficult to make a convincing argument that this is not a case of the latter.

Cardiff is our capital city and one of which we can be proud, it is an excellent tourist destination and visitors should be made welcome so that they can spread good vibes to attract even more visitors. But motorists are tired of being fleeced and Cardiff City Council is doing a great disservice to those businesses within its confines who work hard to attract tourists. I read on the interne, of visitors who live too far away to be able to confirm the lack of adequate signage so have no option but to pay up. Many of those will think twice about gracing a money grabbing city with their presence in future.

Is this the reputation that Cardiff is striving to achieve?

Yours faithfully

R G Evans


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