The independent London newspaper

For Camden the traffic signs manual does not seem to matter in law

20 June, 2019

• CAMDEN Council is my Big Brother. Very late one night I get a phone call from a friend who has left a phone in my place. I’m tired but I agree to bring it.

Driving east down 20mph Prince of Wales Road a car first tailgates mine, then dangerously overtakes via the right filter at Castlehaven Road.

The car has aggressive looking occupants. Sitting behind them at red traffic lights at Kentish Town Road, while they gesticulate aggressively, I feel very frightened.

Turning right into Kentish Town Road towards Camden, me behind them, they suddenly slow down right on the bus stop opposite the 24/7 grocery shop and stop immediately in front of me.

They then wait just in front of the bus stop. I also stop because at least there are a few people about in that spot. I immediately reverse away from them as far as I can.

I’m thinking I have cleared the very long bus stop. I wait for 60 seconds to see if they will start any trouble. When I see a police car with flashing blue lights I quickly drive off down a side street to get to where I have to take the phone.

A few weeks later I receive a £130 CCTV PCN penalty charge notice from Camden. Legal advice tells me very long bus stops should have two “BUS STOP” legends on the tarmac not just one at the front.

Camden officials say this cash-cow bus stop is perfectly legal. I appeal but they send a well trained person to the hearing who manages to convince the adjudicator that I have lied by exaggerating the length of the bus stop.

The bus stop is there, so anyone can check that I’m being honest about its length. The Traffic Signs Manual page 106 paragraph 17:22. reads: “One Bus Stop legend should be used for every 12m.”

For the council a traffic signs manual has no force of law, while an unmarked, long, stretch of red tarmac gives them draconian revenue-earning powers.

One regulation isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, while the space it is meant to regulate is enforced 24/7 by covert Camden Council CCTV surveillance. George Orwell you were spot on.



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