Dispute over Hackney road signs

4:44 PM February 21, 2022

20:06 February 21, 2022

A traffic sign dispute has erupted over a challenge to a fine imposed for traveling along Mount Pleasant Lane.

A Hackney resident has won an appeal against a Penalty Notice (PCN) with the backing of parking campaigner Derek Dishman, known as Mr Mustard.

Mr Mustard argued that the ‘No Motor Vehicles’ sign was a few meters from the location identified in the council’s Traffic Management Order (TMO).

The location being on Mount Pleasant Lane, five meters west of the western boundary of Springfield Gardens.

Council responded by saying the resident’s vehicle ‘clearly overran the no motor vehicle signs’ and there was ‘nothing to suggest’ the signs were in the wrong place.

But the Environment & Traffic Adjudicators (ETA) tribunal ruled in November 2021 that “the dispute is therefore not really about the position of the signs, but about whether or not the vehicle crossed the ‘virtual barrier’ created by the TMO .

“I find that the location identified by the TMO cannot exist.”

Freedom of Information requests show that between April 2021 and January 2022 the council issued 5,746 PCNs above the Mount Pleasant Lane restriction.

A map showing the intersection of Mount Pleasant Lane and Springfield Gardens
– Credit: Google maps

He has raised a total of £195,290 since he started sending PCNs in April 2021.

And in more than 700 cases, the council sent bailiffs to enforce the fines.

Criticizing the council’s actions, Mr Mustard said: ‘Rather than removing the signs or correcting the bylaws, the council just kept penalizing people regardless and even sending ushers.’

He says motorists generally believe a tip when a PCN comes through the post, often paying straight away to get a reduced rate.

Mr Mustard says that means only a minority of cases make it to court.

However, Cllr Transport Chief Mete Coban said all signage was “fully compliant”.

He added that the council had won 85% of cases heard by independent arbitrators, having won 17 of Mount Pleasant Lane’s 20 cases.

“It demonstrates that the program is both clearly stated and properly implemented,” he said.

“Since its implementation, 86% of PCNs issued on Mount Pleasant Lane have been issued to drivers outside Hackney, showing why enforcement is needed to protect our residential roads from the scourge of the rat race .”

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